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Atlanta Falcons

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February 26, 2020 10:48 AM
Falcons' Keanu Neal: Rehab on positive trajectory
by RotoWire Staff | RotoWire

Coach Dan Quinn said that Neal (Achilles) is "exactly where he should be" in his rehab, Kelsey Conway of the Falcons' official site reports. "(Neal) is doing good," Quinn stated Monday. "We're excited for him, he's making great progress."

The 2017 Pro Bowl safety has suffered devastating early-season injuries over each of the past two years, including a torn ACL Week 1 of 2018 against the Eagles, as well as a torn Achilles during Atlanta's Week 3 loss to Indianapolis on Sept. 22. In total Neal has amassed 16 tackles in four combined appearances over the past two seasons, but he entered the league with back-to-back years of incredible production during 2016 and 2017, racking up 222 tackles, 14 pass deflections and eight forced fumbles to go with three fumble recoveries. Given that past production, he could be an X-factor in the Falcons' secondary for 2020 if he can stay on the field.

September 29, 2019 02:12 PM
Falcons' Keanu Neal: Surgery confirmed
by RotoWire Staff | RotoWire

Neal underwent surgery to repair a torn Achilles on Thursday, Vaughn McClure of reports.

It was already known that Neal suffered the torn Achilles during Week 3's loss to Indianapolis, but the surgery confirms he's done for the season. With the veteran sidelined, Kemal Ishmael will take on the starting strong safety role for Week 4, with the possibility of Damontae Kazee seeing some time at the safety position.

September 24, 2019 05:36 PM
Falcons' Keanu Neal: Officially placed on IR
by RotoWire Staff | RotoWire

Neal (Achilles) was placed on injured reserve Tuesday, William McFadden of the Falcons' official site reports.

The transaction was simply a formality, as we already knew that Neal would miss the remainder of the 2019 with a torn Achilles' tendon. In his absence, Kemal Ishmael figures to serve as the Falcons' starting strong safety.

September 23, 2019 02:28 PM
Falcons' Keanu Neal: Achilles' tear confirmed
by RotoWire Staff | RotoWire

Neal tore his left Achilles' tendon Sunday against the Colts, Vaughn McClure of reports.

It's brutal news for Neal, who was limited to one game in 2018 due to a torn ACL. He's once again out for the season and looking at another lengthy recovery period. In his absence, Kemal Ishmael figures to serve as the Falcons' starting strong safety.

September 23, 2019 02:08 PM
Falcons' Keanu Neal: Expected to be done for season
by RotoWire Staff | RotoWire

Neal is believed to have a torn Achilles, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reports.

This has turned into a case of when, not if, Neal will be ruled out for the rest of the season. This is the second straight year Neal will have suffered a season-ending injury, as he tore his ACL in Week 1 of 2018. Neal will undergo surgery and should be ready for the 2020 campaign. The Falcons will have a tryout between Kemal Ishmael and Sharrod Neasman for the starting strong safety job.

September 22, 2019 04:32 PM
Falcons' Keanu Neal: Sporting boot and crutches
by RotoWire Staff | RotoWire

Neal (Achilles) was spotted with a walking boot and crutches following Sunday's loss to the Colts, Tom Pelissero of NFL Network reports.

There's still no word on the severity of Neal's injury. After being carted of the field and being ruled out almost immediately, it's tough to be optimistic about Neal's outlook. If it's a long-term injury, expect either Kemal Ishmael or Sharrod Neasman to start at strong safety in Week 4's game versus the Titans.

September 22, 2019 02:52 PM
Falcons' Keanu Neal: Potentially serious injury
by RotoWire Staff | RotoWire

Neal won't return to Sunday's game versus the Colts after suffering an Achilles injury, Kent Somers of The Arizona Republic reports.

The fourth-year pro was carted off the field in the first half. Neal tore his ACL in the season opener last year, and he's now in jeopardy of another season-ending injury. The Falcons are hoping for the best, and a mix of Kemal Ishmael and Sharrod Neasman should finish the game at strong safety.

September 21, 2019 12:08 AM
Falcons' Keanu Neal: Ready to rock
by RotoWire Staff | RotoWire

Neal (groin) was a full participant in Friday's practice, Vaughn McClure of reports.

Neal spent the week managing a groin injury, but he appears back to full health. The fourth-year safety racked up a team-leading eight solo tackles Week 2 and will look to keep up his momentum versus the Colts on Sunday.

September 19, 2019 10:56 PM
Falcons' Keanu Neal: Dealing with groin injury
by RotoWire Staff | RotoWire

Neal was limited in Wednesday's practice due to a groin injury, Vaughn McClure of reports.

Neal recorded a team-high eight solo tackles in Sunday's win over the Eagles but appears to have emerged with a groin injury. Neal's status for Sunday's game in Indianapolis should become clearer as the week of practice goes on.

September 17, 2019 10:20 PM
Falcons' Keanu Neal: Team-high nine tackles in SNF win
by RotoWire Staff | RotoWire

Neal tallied eight solo tackles and one assist during Sunday's 24-20 win against the Eagles.

Neal's Week 2 showing was a hugely encouraging sign, as he bounced back with a team-best nine takedowns against Philadelphia after collecting just one tackle in the season opener against Minnesota. Additionally, in a most pivotal late-game situation, he helped second-year cornerback Isaiah Oliver clean up a tackle on Eagles tight end Zach Ertz just centimeters short of the sticks, forcing a turnover on downs and allowing Atlanta to ice the game. Neal now heads into a Week 3 matchup against the Jacoby Brissett-led Colts, facing a quarterback who is boasting a 5:1 TD:INT ratio in 2019.

August 16, 2019 01:20 AM
Falcons' Keanu Neal: Plays in first game since ACL tear
by RotoWire Staff | RotoWire

Neal (knee-ACL) started for the Falcons and registered three tackles during Thursday's 22-10 loss to the Jets.

Thursday night marked Neal's return to live action, his first time suiting up for a game since suffering a torn ACL in Atlanta's Week 1 loss to Philadelphia last September. There's still ground to make up in order to recover his Pro Bowl form, but Neal just getting back on the field is a calming presence for this Falcons secondary. Neal served as a formidable last line of defense for the Atlanta defense between 2016 and 2017, recording an absurd (given his position) 218 tackles through his first two years in the league. He's also a player who knows how to lay the lumber and induce turnovers, generating a combined eight forced fumbles over those two seasons.

July 23, 2019 12:52 AM
Falcons' Keanu Neal: Running team drills
by RotoWire Staff | RotoWire

Neal (knee) was out running team drills during Monday's training camp practice, Will McFadden of the Falcons' official site reports.

Neal suffered a torn ACL during last season's opening game against the Eagles, but he appears to be fully recovered heading into training camp. When healthy, Neal has been a force in the Falcons' secondary, as he recorded 222 tackles and eight forced fumbles across 30 games during his first two seasons in the league.

June 20, 2019 03:36 PM
Falcons' Keanu Neal: Nearing full health
by RotoWire Staff | RotoWire

Neal (knee) was on the practice field and spotted running during June minicamp, Matthew Tabeek of the Falcons' official site reports.

Neal is roughly nine months removed from surgery to repair a torn ACL, which parked him on injured reserve early last September. While it isn't clear if Neal participated in any team drills this spring, he's steadily ramping up his activity level and seems close to full health. He could be ready to go for training camp next month.

May 11, 2019 04:40 PM
Falcons' Keanu Neal: Could be ready for training camp
by RotoWire Staff | RotoWire

Head coach Dan Quinn said that so long as Neal (knee) remains on the current trajectory he is on, it's "more than realistic" to believe he'll be ready to fully participate in team activities by the start of training camp, Kelsey Conway of the Falcons' official site reports.

Quinn was upbeat about the status of starting safeties Neal and Ricardo Allen (Achilles) when speaking to the media after rookie minicamp Saturday, reporting that both players are "really pushing it from a rehab competitive side... (and) they're off to excellent starts with their process." That's welcomed news for a Falcons secondary that finished 27th against the pass last year with Neal missing 15 games as result of an ACL injury. Getting the 2017 Pro Bowler assimilated back into the defense quickly will be essential, as Atlanta must face top-13 passing offenses over each of the first three weeks of the regular season (Minnesota, Philadelphia and Indianapolis).

April 25, 2019 11:32 AM
Falcons' Keanu Neal: Fifth-year option exercised
by RotoWire Staff | RotoWire

The Falcons officially exercised the fifth-year option on Neal's (knee) rookie contract Wednesday, Will McFadden of the team's official site reports.

The decision comes as no surprise after general manager Thomas Dimitroff stated in February that the team planned to go in this direction. Neal is now officially under team control through 2020 and will be looking to rebound from an ACL injury that ended his 2018 season in Week 1. The safety was seen participating in workouts as recently as last week and appears to be on track to return well before the start of the 2019 campaign.

April 17, 2019 03:56 PM
Falcons' Keanu Neal: Active in weight-lifting session
by RotoWire Staff | RotoWire

Neal (knee) was seen lifting weights Wednesday during the Falcons' voluntary workouts, D. Orlando Ledbetter of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.

Neal said last month that he doesn't have a firm timetable for when he expects to be 100 percent healthy, but the safety nonetheless appears to be making steady and tangible progress in his recovery from the torn ACL he suffered last September. In other news, there's been no word the fifth-year option on Neal's rookie contract has been picked up yet. Atlanta has until May 2 to make a decision on that front.

April 1, 2019 02:32 AM
Falcons' Keanu Neal: Timeline for return unclear
by RotoWire Staff | RotoWire

Neal (knee) said Sunday that "(he doesn't) want to put a timetable on things" when asked if he expects to be ready in time for training camp, Zig Fracassi of Sirius XM Sports reports.

Neal's 15-game absence from the starting lineup was a clear detriment to Atlanta's secondary, with the Falcons ranking 27th against the pass in 2018 after averaging a 20th-place finish in that category between 2016 and 2017 when he suited up for 14-plus games. Though it was a serious injury that Neal suffered in tearing his ACL during a Week 1 loss to Philadelphia, the bright side is that the injury occurred so early in the season last year that he maintains a firm probability of being ready for Atlanta's preseason kickoff in 2019.

February 13, 2019 02:52 PM
Falcons' Keanu Neal: Making progress in rehab
by RotoWire Staff | RotoWire

Neal (knee) posted a video on his personal Instagram account in January featuring himself going through agility drills with no brace on his left knee.

Neal, who tore his ACL in the 2018 season opener, seems to be progressing well in his recovery from surgery. It isn't clear if he'll be ready for OTAs later this spring, but the safety at least appears on track to enter training camp with limited restrictions. The Falcons are expected to pick up the fifth-year option on the 2016 first-round pick's contract this spring.

January 4, 2019 06:16 PM
Falcons' Keanu Neal: Fifth-year option to be exercised
by RotoWire Staff | RotoWire

General Manager Thomas Dimitroff said the Falcons plan to pick up Neal's (knee) fifth-year option for the 2020 season, Vaughn McClure of reports.

Neal missed almost the entirety of the 2018 season as he suffered a torn ACL in Week 1 against the Eagles. The 2016 first-round pick may not be ready for Organized Team Activities in the spring, but he's expected to be good to go for training camp. The 23-year-old has started all 31 games he's appeared in with the Falcons and was a Pro Bowl replacement in 2017 after compiling 116 combined tackles, three forced fumbles and an interception. The team has until May 3 to provide Neal with official notice they are exercising the option.

September 18, 2018 03:24 PM
Falcons' Keanu Neal: ACL procedure goes well
by RotoWire Staff | RotoWire

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.

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