Atlanta Falcons lose Pro Bowl S Keanu Neal for season with torn ACL

Sept. 7 (UPI) — Atlanta Falcons safety Keanu Neal is out for the rest of the 2018 season after suffering a torn ACL during a loss to the Philadelphia Eagles.

The Falcons announced Neal’s injury status on Friday. The 2017 Pro Bowl selection and two total tackles in the Falcons’ 18-12 loss to the Eagles in the NFL season opener on Thursday in Philadelphia.

Neal exited the game multiple times and did not return to the field after he walked off with trainers in the third quarter. He appeared to suffer a non-contact injury in the second quarter.

The Falcons will now look to second-year defender Damontae Kazee to replace the Pro Bowl safety. Kazee had three tackles and a pass defensed in Thursday’s loss. He also helped knock the ball loose from Eagles tight end Dallas Goedert, leading to an interception by teammate Deion Jones in the Week 1 setback.

Kazee and Ricardo Allen are the only remaining healthy safeties listed on the Falcons depth chart at the position. Safety Jordan Richards in on the Falcons’ 53-man active roster but was an inactive for Thursday’s game.

“Thank you Lord for giving me another opportunity to play this game today, have fun and Trust the process. Time to get Krazy,” Kazee tweeted Thursday.

The Falcons have an NFC South matchup against the Carolina Panthers in Week 2 on Sept. 16 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta.

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