Neal (knee) has undergone successful ACL surgery Tuesday, per his personal Twitter handle.
Neal confirmed that the procedure he underwent to repair the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee went well. The typical recovery timetable for an ACL tear is between six and eight months, so Atlanta can hope for Neal to return to health in time to participate in OTAs next offseason. Damontae Kazee will serve as the Falcons' starting strong safety for the remainder of the season.
Neal was placed on injured reserve Saturday, per the league's official transaction log.
The move was expected since Neal's season ended after he tore his ACL in the opener against Philadelphia. Neal's absence will leave a tough void to fill since he posted back-to-back, 100-plus-tackle seasons to start his NFL career. Damontae Kazee will be the starting strong safety.
Neal was diagnosed with a torn ACL on Friday, Adam Schefter of ESPN reports.
Neal will miss the rest of the season after suffering the non-contact knee injury during Thursday's season-opening loss to Philadelphia. Damontae Kazee may prove to be a capable replacement at strong safety, but this is undoubtedly a major blow to the Atlanta secondary. Kazee becomes an immediate IDP option given that Neal averaged 7.4 tackles per game over the past two seasons.
Neal aggravated a left knee injury suffered during the second quarter and was forced out of the game shortly after halftime of Atlanta's season opener against Philadelphia on Thursday.
Neal's left knee appeared to buckle while he was changing directions in pass coverage, resulting in the third-year safety being deemed inactive for the remainder of the ballgame. Preseason standout Damontae Kazee was the next man up at strong safety for the Falcons following Neal's exit from the contest.
Neal injured his left knee late in the second quarter as well but was able to return to the field. This time, however, he was forced to head to the locker room and has been ruled out for the remainder of the game. The injury appeared to be non-contact, so there will be hope that it is not serious. Expect Damontae Kazee to take over at strong safety for the rest of Thursday's contest.
|12||11/22/18||@ NO||8:20 pm|
|14||12/9/18||@ GB||1:00 pm|
|16||12/23/18||@ CAR||1:00 pm|
|17||12/30/18||@ TB||1:00 pm|
|Year||Team||G||Fum||Lost||Fum Forced||Own Rec||Opp Rec||Yds||Tot Rec||TD|