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Falcoholinks: All the Falcons news you need for Thursday, July 2

Links for a Thursday.

Philadelphia Eagles v Atlanta Falcons Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

As hard as it is to believe, we’re two days out from Independence Day. What a long, strange trip it’s been in 2020 so far. We’ve got an update on Keanu Neal’s status, a change to the NFL preseason, and more in Thursday’s edition of Falcoholinks. Enjoy!

Keanu Neal on the mend

Keanu Neal was lost for the 2019 season in Week 3 against the Indianapolis Colts to a torn Achilles tendon — an injury that’s notoriously tricky to rehab. He recently appeared on The Jim Rome Show to discuss the status of his health and his aims to be ready to go for the start of the season.

Great news: Keanu says “He’s feeling great.”

The Falcons are counting on Neal’s aggression in the secondary, and having him healthy at the start of 2020 would be a boost to the defensive side of the ball.

NFL shortens preseason

It’s redundant at this point, but things are different for the NFL this year. Changes to schedules and programs seem to be coming in weekly, and yesterday ESPN reported that the preseason will be shortened to two games.

Player profile: Takkarist McKinley

As the team declined to pick up his fifth-year option, Takk McKinley is entering a contract year in 2020. The story in 2019 for McKinley was injuries and disappointment, and he’ll be hoping to produce at a higher level as he seeks a new contract.

Our Kevin Knight has kicked off a new offseason series, tracking the player profiles of the presumptive Falcons starters. If you hadn’t guessed it already, Takk McKinley is the first on deck.

Getting to know the UDFAs

Our Evan Birchfield has been doing some yeoman’s work on the Falcons’ UDFA front, interviewing a handful of Atlanta’s new additions that hope to crack the roster. This week he caught up with University of Nebraska-Kearney defensive tackle Hinwa Allieu, discussed his football history as well as what he expects from the Atlanta Falcons franchise.

You can read the full interview right here.

Ranking the rushers

From Gerald Riggs to Warrick Dunn to Michael Turner, the Falcons have had the privilege of some of the game’s top backs donning the red-and-black during their history. Among the statistics all-time, where do Atlanta’s rushers rank?