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.
Neal (knee) was briefly removed from the Falcons' season opener against Philadelphia during the second quarter, but he came back into the game a few plays later after being inspected by Atlanta's medical staff.
Damontae Kazee relieved Neal in the lineup after the Pro Bowl safety grabbed his left knee in pain while attempting to chase down an Eagles receiver. The 23-year-old immediately went into the medical tent on the Falcons' sideline for medical evaluation, but he subsequently checked out and re-entered the ballgame during the following defensive series.
|5||10/7/18||@ PIT||1:00 pm|
|Bye: Week 8|
|9||11/4/18||@ WAS||1:00 pm|
|10||11/11/18||@ CLE||1:00 pm|
|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|