September 8, 2018 / 1:33 AM / 13 days ago

NFL notebook: Falcons lose Pro Bowl S Neal for season

Atlanta Falcons Pro Bowl strong safety Keanu Neal will miss the rest of the season after tearing the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee during Thursday’s season-opening loss to the Philadelphia Eagles, the team announced.

Apr 28, 2016; Chicago, IL, USA; Keanu Neal (Florida) is selected by the Atlanta Falcons as the number seventeen overall pick in the first round of the 2016 NFL Draft at Auditorium Theatre. Mandatory Credit: Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports / Reuters

Neal twice departed the game because of left knee issues. He didn’t return after the second injury occurred in the third quarter. The tear was detected during an MRI exam on Friday.

Coach Dan Quinn said he didn’t think Neal’s injury was serious after Thursday’s contest. But he and the Atlanta players were in a somber mood Friday after learning of the seriousness of the injury.

“That one hurts for us because he certainly exemplifies not only our style as a ballplayer but as a teammate, too,” Quinn said in a press conference. “We’re bummed for him, and that’s certainly tough for us today.”

—Los Angeles Chargers defensive end Joey Bosa will miss the season opener Sunday with an injury to his left foot, the team announced.

Bosa suffered a left foot injury during practice on Aug. 7 but injured it again in practice on Wednesday, his first session back on the field. He sat out practice Thursday, and on Friday, he was seen with a walking boot, according to NFL Network.

The Chargers will host AFC West rival Kansas City on Sunday. That should make life easier for quarterback Patrick Mahomes, who begins his first season as the starter for the Chiefs.

—Seattle Seahawks defensive end Dion Jordan and running back Rashaad Penny will suit up the season opener against the Broncos at Denver on Sunday.

Head coach Pete Carroll said Penny, the team’s first-round draft pick, is recovered from the hand injury he suffered in practice after the first preseason game. Penny underwent surgery and is likely to be the backup to Chris Carson to begin the season.

“He’s been on call for everything he could possibly be ready for and he’s been always pushing to get out sooner and push all of the time frames,” Carroll said. “His mentality has been great about it. So he’s ready to play.”

—Pittsburgh Steelers star receiver Antonio Brown watched the locker room drama play out regarding holdout running back Le’Veon Bell earlier this week and was not impressed.

Bell has declined to sign his $14.5 million franchise tag for this season and emotions boiled over on Wednesday when several players let loose with their feelings over his absence. Brown said the turmoil — the strong comments, the harsh critiques — was unnecessary.

“No one wins when the family feuds,” Brown told reporters two days before the Sunday season opener against the Cleveland Browns. “At the end of the day, we’re family. We want the best for him. That’s what it’s all about. It’s not about pointing fingers and fighting among each other. We are a core group that should respect and love each other regardless of the situation.”

—The New York Giants created $3 million in cap space by restructuring cornerback Janoris Jenkins’ contract, ESPN reported.

To free the space, the Giants converted $4.5 million of his base salary into a proratable bonus. That gives them some cap space to begin the season.

According to Spotrac, the Giants have $4.24 million in cap space available, more than only the Carolina Panthers, Denver, the New Orleans Saints and the Green Bay Packers. In contrast, the Cleveland Browns and Indianapolis Colts each have more than $50 million.

—The Chicago Bears signed nose tackle Eddie Goldman to a four-year, $42 million extension.

Goldman will receive $25 million guaranteed, according to multiple reports. The Bears confirmed the extension through the 2022 season but didn’t reveal financial terms.

“This is a key extension for the future of the Bears and an anchor for our defense,” Chicago general manager Ryan Pace said in a statement. “We are excited to be able to reward one of our own in Eddie. We put pride in drafting and developing players and Eddie has put the work in every day to earn this opportunity.”

—Jacksonville Jaguars cornerback Jalen Ramsey was a full participant at practice and is set to start Sunday’s opener in a much-anticipated matchup with Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr.

Ramsey was limited by an ankle injury Thursday but Jacksonville had its entire 53-man roster available with no injuries in their final workout before heading to New York for the Week 1 game.

“A lot of people are going to try and make it about me and him specifically. That’s not what it is about,” the 23-year-old Ramsey said of locking up Beckham. “It’s 11 versus 11. It’s not me vs. him all game. I’ll be on him a fair amount; I’m sure other guys will be on him too.”

—Miami Dolphins receiver DeVante Parker returned to practice for the first time since breaking his right middle finger nearly four weeks ago but is doubtful for Sunday’s season opener against the Tennessee Titans.

Parker ran pass routes on the side but the injury hasn’t healed enough for him to catch passes. He was wearing a large pad on his hand to protect the finger.

—Former Dallas Cowboys running back Joseph Randle is being held without bond on a suspicion of rape in Wichita, Kan., according to multiple outlets that cited jail records.

Randle, a Wichita native, was taken into custody at Sedgwick County Jail around 3:45 a.m. The 26-year-old has spent most of the past two years in jail but was released in June after receiving five years’ probation related to an altercation at a house party in 2016.

Randle also is due for sentencing in another felony case on Oct. 9, according to The Wichita Eagle.

—Baltimore Ravens rookie kicker Kaare Vedvik is out of the hospital and expected to cooperate with police investigating an apparent assault on him last weekend.

Vedvik was found with substantial facial injuries and bruises on the back of his head in East Baltimore and taken to the hospital early Saturday morning.

The 24-year-old Vedvik, a punter and kicker from Norway who attended Marshall, was placed on the reserve non-football injury list in the aftermath.

—Field Level Media

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