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Falcons safety Keanu Neal could return to play at Saints


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3:41 p.m. Monday, Sept. 19, 2016 | Filed in: Falcons

 

FLOWERY BRANCH — Falcons coach Dan Quinn said rookie safety Keanu Neal could return to play against the Saints next Monday after missing the first two games following arthroscopic knee surgery on Aug. 28.

Quinn said Neal would participate on a limited basis on Thursday, the team’s first scheduled full practice of the week.

“We will see how it goes,” Quinn said. “We are optimistic but we will have to see how it goes Thursday, Friday and Saturday on the three big work days.”

Falcons safety Keanu Neal could return to play at Saints photo
Allen Eyestone
Miami Dolphins running back Jay Ajayi (23) stretches for yardage as Atlanta Falcons strong safety Keanu Neal (22) makes a tackle at Camping World Stadium in Orlando, Florida on August 25, 2016. (Allen Eyestone / The Palm Beach Post)

 

 

Neal suffered the knee injury during the exhibition game against the Dolphins on Aug. 25. The Falcons at the time estimated he would miss three to four weeks.

Neal’s return could help the Falcons’ defense. After Sunday’s games the Falcons ranked next-to-last in the league in opponent passer rating (120) and 23rd in passing yards allowed per play.

The Falcons selected Neal with the No. 17 overall pick in the draft out of the University of Florida. They envision Neal playing a hybrid role similar to Seahawks safety Kam Chancellor, whom Quinn coached as Seattle’s defensive coordinator.

 

 

http://www.ajc.com/news/sports/football/falcons-safety-keanu-neal-could-return-to-play-at-/nsbR9/

 
 
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3 minutes ago, East_Coast_Falcon said:

Be a rough first taste of NFL meaningful game time at NO. Hopefully we dont rush him in if it will mean the knee thing starts lingering.

True. NO will be a tough first test. May as well throw him in if hes healthy though. If we tippy toe him around good QBs, we won't see him until game 5 against Denver. The more reps the better (as long as its not rushed, like you say).

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16 minutes ago, East_Coast_Falcon said:

Be a rough first taste of NFL meaningful game time at NO. Hopefully we dont rush him in if it will mean the knee thing starts lingering.

They won't risk further injury to their 1st round talent, so he must be ready.  Trot him out against one of the best and see what ole boy can do!  He is going to take his bumps and bruises, but he seems like the kind of player that thrives on not making the same mistake twice.

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1 hour ago, bossFALCON™ said:

Would like to see a lot of big nickel (3 safety) play until Collins come back. Allen, ish and Neal would give us speed and sure tackling.

Big nickel is what I'am thinking as well.  Ease him into the game plan, let him get a taste of NFL game speed.  Then we can start him in a few weeks.  If Ish keeps this up, maybe we will be starting both Ish and Neal.

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4 hours ago, Striker42 said:

I'm worried people are expecting too much from him too quickly. Odds are he's going to need a good bit of time to adjust to the league. He was drafted to fit Quinn's defense, not because he was the most NFL ready safety in the draft. 

Thats the point. We want him to get that experience with Camp, and DJ. Just wait when the game slow down for them 

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17 hours ago, Striker42 said:

I'm worried people are expecting too much from him too quickly. Odds are he's going to need a good bit of time to adjust to the league. He was drafted to fit Quinn's defense, not because he was the most NFL ready safety in the draft. 

Expecting to much to quickly from rookies is the sole purpose of this board. Or so you would believe by reading a lot of the posts.

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14 minutes ago, rcky_mtn_falcon said:

Expecting to much to quickly from rookies is the sole purpose of this board. Or so you would believe by reading a lot of the posts.

Hate to break it to you, but it's not just these boards or this fanbase.  Fans, and rightfully so, expect a lot from high draft picks.  They are first and second rounders for a reason, and the expectation now (fair or not) is that they come in and produce right away.  Not be perfect, rookies are going to make mistakes, but play and produce on the field.

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