The Falcons’ official Twitter account posted a clip of Neal’s workout showcasing his speed:
— Atlanta Falcons (@AtlantaFalcons) June 20, 2020
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Neal Feels Like ‘Himself’ Again
The hard-hitting safety, Keanu Neal tore his Achilles in Week 3 of Atlanta’s 2019 season against the Lions. The injury caused him to miss the remainder of the year. However, he’s back for the start of the 2020 season and shared an update on NFL Network’s “Good Morning Football” show last week.
“Man, by God’s grace I feel awesome, Neal said. I feel like myself again and I’m grateful, man.”
Head coach Dan Quinn had provided an injury update on Neal and his rehab progression saying he was “exactly where he should be” back in March.
And it looks like he sure is.
Neal Looked At Positives While Missing Two Seasons
The year prior, he had torn his ACL early on which caused him to miss the entire 2018 season as well.
Neal said the last two seasons haven’t been mentally easy for him but on the bright side, he had a chance to work on himself while rehabbing.
“These past couple of years have been tough. But I try not to look at the negatives, I try to think positive about it, Neal said on GMF. I got a lot of opportunities to spend time with my wife, my family, friends, and grow myself personally so it’s been tough but it’s been a great time. But yeah like I said, I feel really good physically and I’m ready to get back with the guys and get everything going.”
Neal looked promising on the field prior to his two season-ending injuries. In his first season of the NFL in 2016, he earned a spot on the PFWA All-Rookie team after registering for 106 tackles. He was then named Pro Bowl in 2017 where he recorded 116 tackles.
To fill Neal’s void, Quinn started Damontae Kazee at free safety and moved Ricardo Allen to strong safety. Kazee has become a key player for the Falcon’s secondary after stepping in Neal’s shoes and recording 10 interceptions over the past two seasons.
A Top-Tier Safety
With Neal healthy again, the Falcons will have three reliable safeties on the roster instead of only two like a traditional roster.
The former Florida Gator is considered a top-tier athlete for his size and has the closing speed to track the ball inside and outside of the tackle box. He is persistent in transitions and is very explosive when he sees an alley to the ball. Neal is also thick enough to get through blockers and is widely known throughout the NFL for his hard and clean hitting style.
Neal has played in a total of 34 games where he’s forced eight fumbles and recovered three and has one Pro Bowl invitation under his belt, so far.