If there's one thing you don't want to hear come out of a preseason game, it's injuries to your starters. Unfortunately for the Falcons, today brings news of exactly that. The team's first round pick of 2016 - safety Keanu Neal - had an MRI on Friday morning which confirmed he'll need minor surgery, causing him to miss 3 to 4 weeks.
Falcons' rookie S Keanu Neal thought his knee injury was minor and it is. But still needs surgery, out 3-4 weeks. pic.twitter.com/tBVlyi8KAX— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) August 26, 2016
Neal went down with the injury after amassing 5 tackles early on against the Dolphins. His speed and hard-hitting nature were on display early, and this is a big hit for a Falcons defense that is trying to improve in Dan Quinn's second year. The good news is that the injury is not major in nature, so the team should get him back early in the season.
In the meantime, veteran Kemal Ishmael seems like the likeliest candidate to take the starting strong safety position, assuming he's healthy in time. Damian Parms stepped in during the preseason game against the Dolphins and appeared to play well. Robenson Therezie is also another potential option to help fill the void while Neal is on the mend.
We wish Neal a full and speed recovery.