Keanu Neal Ruled Out for Rest of Game vs. Eagles Due to Knee Injury

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistSeptember 7, 2018

ATLANTA, GA - JANUARY 01: Keanu Neal #22 of the Atlanta Falcons forces Willie Snead #83 of the New Orleans Saints to fumble during the second half at the Georgia Dome on January 1, 2017 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C.  Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Atlanta Falcons safety Keanu Neal was ruled out in the third quarter of Thursday's game against the Philadelphia Eagles after he suffered a knee injury, according to The MMQB's Albert Breer

Neal suffered a knee setback during the 2016 preseason that required surgery but still appeared in 14 games as a rookie that year before playing all 16 contests last season.

The Falcons selected him out of Florida with the No. 17 pick in the 2016 draft, and he earned immediate playing time. He finished the campaign with 106 combined tackles, five forced fumbles and a fumble recovery. Neal followed up with 116 tackles, three forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries and an interception in 2017.

The 23-year-old brings a physical presence to the safety spot and can provide run support or dish out hard hits when receivers venture across the middle. He is also quick enough to keep up with tight ends and some slot receivers.

If Neal misses time, the Falcons will turn to a number of other contributors. Ricardo Allen, Damontae Kazee and Kemal Ishmael will be tasked with keeping opposing passing attacks in check without him.