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Keanu Neal fined $28,075 for unnecessary roughness

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It’s a rough way to start the season.

Todd Kirkland/Getty Images

The NFL has fined Atlanta Falcons safety Keanu Neal $28,075 for a tackle which resulted in Washington’s tight end Jordan Reed sustaining a concussion.

Keanu Neal is one of the hardest hitting safeties in the league, there’s no arguing that. The hit which he was fined for took place in the exhibition game against Washington in preseason week 3. Jordan Reed was being brought down from behind and Neal flew in and leveled him above the shoulder. The Falcons were penalized 15-yards for the hit, and now Keanu Neal has been fined for it.

It’s preseason, so you certainly don’t want to see players getting leveled, regardless of which team they’re on. Even though he’s a leader on defense, Neal is only 24-years old and still has a lot to learn. Not to excuse the play, but hard-hitters historically run into unnecessary roughness issues a lot. Hopefully, Neal will learn from this and work on his targeting area going forward.

“People were coming to me about [the Jordan Reed hit], saying things,” Keanu Neal said. “For me, I never have ill-intent playing the game. Obviously, I’m a physical player. I’m an enforcer. That’s my game. But to try and hit someone helmet-to-helmet that’s not me. That’s not my game.”

Keanu Neal knows he did wrong, and he’s been fined – so let’s move on. The Falcons desperately missed his tone-setting plays in 2018, and everyone is thrilled to have him on the field again.