Atlanta Falcons Pro Bowl safety Keanu Neal will miss the rest of the season after tearing the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee during Thursday’s season-opening loss to the Philadelphia Eagles, the team announced.
Apr 28, 2016; Chicago, IL, USA; Keanu Neal (Florida) is selected by the Atlanta Falcons as the number seventeen overall pick in the first round of the 2016 NFL Draft at Auditorium Theatre. Mandatory Credit: Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports / Reuters
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Neal twice departed the game because of injuries to the left knee. He didn’t return after the second injury occurred in the third quarter.
The tear was detected during an MRI exam on Friday.
Coach Dan Quinn said he didn’t think Neal’s injury was serious after Thursday’s contest.
Second-year pro Damontae Kazee replaced Neal and figures to move into the starting lineup. Kazee opened eyes with a strong preseason and also delivered a big play in Thursday’s game when his hit on Philadelphia tight end Dallas Goedert dislodged the ball and led to an interception by Deion Jones.
Kazee, a product of San Diego State, was a 2017 fifth-round pick.
Atlanta also recently acquired safety Jordan Richards from the New England Patriots.
The 23-year-old Neal had one interception, two fumble recoveries and three forced fumbles last year during his second NFL season.
—Field Level Media