Falcons lose Keanu Neal for season with torn Achilles tendon

Atlanta Falcons / Source: (MGN)
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FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. (AP) -- Keanu Neal will miss the remainder of the season with a torn left Achilles tendon, taking the strong safety away from the Atlanta Falcons' defense for the second straight season.

Neal suffered a season-ending knee injury in the 2018 opening game. He worked most of the year in rehab before suffering another crushing injury in Sunday's 27-24 loss at Indianapolis.

Kemal Ishmael likely will replace Neal in the lineup for this Sunday's game against Tennessee.

Neal was a Pro Bowl selection in 2017, when he had 113 tackles with three forced fumbles and one interception.

Running backs Ito Smith and Kenjon Barner are in concussion protocol, creating an opening for Brian Hill to move up as Devonta Freeman's backup.