Falcons Plan to Limit Workload for Three Starters in Training Camp

Keanu Neal

Getty Keanu Neal #22 of the Atlanta Falcons celebrates an interception.

Falcons head coach Dan Quinn said on Wednesday he plans to limit workload for running back Todd Gurley, safety Keanu Neal coming off a season-ending Achilles tear, and center Alex Mack as a 34-year-old veteran.

However, Quinn said they would each have different plans for different reasons.

“One size doesn’t fit all, Quinn told ESPN’s, Vaughn McClure. “Sometimes you’re monitoring reps. ‘OK, I’m going to put him from a certain amount down to a lower amount.’ Sometimes it might be a day off where it’s not back to back to back. So, for sure, we’ve gone through that process with a number of the players as we get into the training camp portion. There will be some players that will have limited reps or an off day occasionally just to make sure, man, just keep hitting the markers of where we’re at.”

Gurley’s Workload Must Be Managed

A pro football doctor for 17 years, Dr. David Chao says that Gurley can still be a productive player if his workload is properly managed. A veteran’s day off here and there would definitely be beneficial for Gurley.

“The arthritis in his knee will not go away but can be managed,” Chao wrote for The San Diego Union-Tribune after Gurley was released by the Rams. “Gurley still has plenty of football left in him, but his carriers/touches will need to be limited as well as his practice time. Going forward, Gurley can still add value as a part-time running back, but teams need to adjust expectations given the health of his left knee.”

Last season, Gurley averaged 3.8 yards per carry and put up career lows in carries with 223 and yards with only 857. Still, a total of 14 touchdowns with such a bad knee is still top talent.

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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 in June.

“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.

So far, Neal has played in a total of 34 games as a Falcon where he’s forced eight fumbles and recovered three with one Pro Bowl under his belt.

Alex Mack Is Still Going Strong

Mack entered the NFL as a first-round pick by the Cleveland Browns in 2009. His goal was to play at least 10 seasons. So far, he’s played 12.

“Going into Year 12, I feel pretty good and excited for it, ready to take it on,” Mack told ESPN. “I’ll play the year out, see how I feel — how my body works and how much I’m enjoying it — then make the decision at the end of year if I want to keep going or what. The future is unknown, and that’s the way I’m looking at it. Every year is one year at a time: keep going, prepare, and play, and do everything as best as I can. Then I’ll see where I’m at.”

Mack has started all 69 games with the Falcons since 2016 and has played a total of 4,292 snaps.

Gurley, Neal, and Mack deserve a little rest for giving they’re ‘all’ as soon as they entered the league.

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