Falcons starting strong safety, Keanu Neal went down with an Achilles injury early in the season for the second consecutive year. Neal doesn’t necessarily have the best luck when it comes to staying injury-free. He was just getting over a torn ACL from the season prior. He tore it during the 2018 season opener at the Philadelphia Eagles, then he went right into starting the 2019 season off tearing his Achilles. Out of a four-year, Neal has played all 16 games only once. Two of the years, he didn’t see the first half of the season.
Allen was Key for Falcons Defense Improvement
After the Falcons lost Neal for 2019, Allen’s performance at safety became vital for the diminishing Falcons defense. Allen played over 15 games for the fourth time in five years and set personal records along the way. He set a personal best in passes defended and had the second-best mark of his career in tackles. Allen played a big role for the reason the Falcons made improvement moving from the 28th to 22nd in pass defense between 2018 and 2019.
As a team captain, Allen finished the 2019 Falcons season recording 84 tackles, eight pass deflections, and two interceptions. He didn’t miss any of the 16 regular-season games.
This will be the second consecutive offseason Allen has spent rehabbing. In week 3 of 2018 against the New Orlean Saints, Allen tore his Achilles and went into surgery that forced him to miss the season and rehab into the following season.
Allen came back much healthier this year and played pretty well for the Falcons. He also changed positions for the benefit of the team, from free safety to strong safety. Atlanta selected Ricardo Allen as its nominee for the NFL’s Walter Payton Man of the Year award.
The winner of the Walter Payton Man of the Year Award recognizes a player for his excellence on and off the field. $250,000 is donated to United Way in his name and up to $250,000 donated to the winner’s charity of his choice.
Allen is all for being a better player on and off the field and traveled to West Point Military Academy to participate in military-based leadership training.
With Allen’s legs back into shape, it will be time to focus on rehabbing his shoulder.
Hoping for a Speedy Recovery
Earlier this month, Allen posted a pre-surgery selfie on his Instagram surgery.
The same day, he posted another picture after surgery with the caption: ” Exhale* “I know God got me!” ?? Fear and Faith can’t live in the same house!”
It’s always good to see athletes in high spirits and optimistic post-surgery…positivity leads to a speedy recovery and that’s what the Falcons need from Allen.
Allen is currently heading into the second frame of his three-year, $19.5 million deal with the Falcons.