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Keanu Neal returned to practice during OTAs, on track for season

The Pro Bowl safety appears on track after missing almost all of 2018.

Carolina Panthers v Atlanta Falcons Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

We were expecting it to happen but it sure is great to finally see. After Neal’s junior season was cut ridiculously short due to an ACL tear, he’s finally back out on the field. It is just OTAs but it is a major step in the right direction.

First let’s start with this sweet video.

Next we have my favorite quote out of a coach in some time.

Grown man-ness is definitely something the defense was missing last year. The injuries piled up quickly for the Falcons, with players like Deion Jones, Grady Jarrett, and Ricardo Allen going out for extended periods of time. The defense was never the same, but those injuries weren’t enough to save Marquand Manuel’s job.

It is just OTAs so there’s obviously no contact. The staff will certainly bring him along slowly and get him back into game shape. (Not that he looks out of shape).

Thanks to the early injury (week 1), Neal is sitting at a good spot. Per D. Orlando Ledbetter, he was running without a knee brace.

There’s not much else to update. It will be awhile before we see Neal return to the “old” Neal. His counterpart, Allen, is not back yet. Allen suffered an Achille’s injury, typically more severe, at a later part of the season. Coaches may be penciling him in for the regular season.