News just broke that linebacker Deion Jones is headed to the IR. Thankfully it appears that he will not be out for the entire season. However, it appears that he will be out a minimum of eight weeks. Not only did the Falcons lose Jones against the Eagles, but Keanu Neal tore his ACL in the game. Devonta Freeman is also listed on the injury report with a knee injury, but the severity is unknown. Brian Hill was promoted from the practice squad as cover following these issues. Atlanta went from being the healthiest team in the league, to losing two of their best players on the team. Before their week one matchup with the Eagles, Atlanta was the only team without a player on PUP or IR.
The Falcons traded a conditional pick in the 2020 draft to the New England Patriots for Jordan Richards before week one. Atlanta also went out and signed Corey Nelson, former Eagles linebacker, Keith Tandy, former Buccaneers Safety, and Steven Means, former Eagles defensive end.
Who will have to step up?
Damontae Kazee flew around in the preseason making his name known. After Neal went down in the opener Kazee was involved in a key play that led to the Deion Jones interception. Look for Kazee, Jordan Richards, and Keith Tandy to rotate during the rest of the season at the safety position. At linebacker De’Vondre Campbell, Duke Riley and Foye Oluokun are now manning the charge, with newly acquired linebacker Corey Nelson to be involved in the rotation after he gets acclimated to the team.
What appeared to be a potential breakout year for the Atlanta Falcons defense has now turned into a mess. Deion Jones and Keanu Neal are some of the best players at their positions and have been a focal point to the defense since the day the were drafted. The team has some big holes to fill, but in Quinn we trust. Let’s hope that the Falcons can stay remotely healthy in the upcoming weeks.