Losing two starting safeties in the first three weeks of the season would be a detriment to any defense. That was the case for the Falcons, who lost their Pro-Bowl safety, Keanu Neal, in week one to a torn ACL and then Ricardo Allen, the quarterback of their defense, to a torn Achilles in week three. The two are integral pieces to the defense, masking many of the issues that exist, mainly the lack of pass rush. Without them, Atlanta finished 28th in total defense and 27th in passing yards allowed.
If there’s a glass half full way to look at it in hindsight; It’s that the injuries occurred at the beginning of the season, and the two should be ready for training camp. Judging by their social media posts, both appear well on their way to being back when things start to matter.
Here is Keanu Neal less than a week ago showing off his explosiveness.
Look who has his explosiveness back. 👀
— Atlanta Falcons (@AtlantaFalcons) April 12, 2019
Neal said at the beginning of April that he didn’t want to guarantee he will be back for Training Camp. Considering that’s three months away, he’s well on track and should have no problem being ready for the first week of the season.
Ricardo Allen is a little further behind Neal in his recovery, but he was in the weight room during the Falcons voluntary workouts yesterday. According to D. Orlando Ledbetter of the AJC, he wasn’t doing much lifting but was working on his footwork.
Ricardo Allen back at work off Achilles. pic.twitter.com/qvMatm8rI0
— vaughn mcclure (@vxmcclure23) April 17, 2019
The Falcons desperately need both of these guys next season. The defensive line remains littered with question marks, meaning the secondary will have to be the strength of this unit once again. Thankfully, both should have no problem being ready for week one.