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Keanu Neal, Falcons safety, suffers season-ending knee injury

The Falcons' Keanu Neal is helped off the

The Falcons' Keanu Neal is helped off the field after an injury during the first half against the Eagles on Thursday in Philadelphia.  Credit: AP/Matt Rourke

FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. — Atlanta Falcons safety Keanu Neal will miss the remainder of the season after hurting his left knee in Thursday night's 18-12 opening loss at Philadelphia.

The loss of Neal, a leader on the defense who was selected to his first Pro Bowl in 2017, is a major blow to the Atlanta defense.

Damontae Kazee replaced Neal in the game.

Falcons coach Dan Quinn said after the game the injury wasn't believed to be serious. The team announced the severity of the injury on Friday. He suffered the injury in the first half, returned in the second half and then left the game for good.

Neal is a first-round draft pick from Florida in 2016. He had 113 tackles with one interception, three forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries while starting every game last season.

New York Sports