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Keanu Neal to have minor surgery, out 3-4 weeks

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Keanu Neal's rookie season is on hold.

The Atlanta Falcons announced Friday the first-round safety will miss three to four weeks after suffering a knee injury in Thursday's preseason loss to the Miami Dolphins.

An MRI on Friday revealed that Neal suffered enough damage to the knee to require a scope. Doctors will determine the damage during Neal's scope, which is scheduled for Monday. Neal's knee ligaments are fine and that the procedure likely will be a meniscus trim/cartilage cleanup, a source informed of the injury told NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport.

For his part, Neal didn't seem too concerned about the injury, tweeting Friday, "Relax.. What's a problem isn't a problem."

The No. 17 overall pick was hurt after absorbing a second-quarter stiff-arm from veteran running back Arian Foster. Neal had to be helped off the field, but walked to the locker room under his own power.

To temporarily fill the need at safety, Atlanta is working out free agent safety Dashon Goldson on Saturday, Rapoport added, per a source.

With the rookie out of the picture, the Falcons have temporarily been stripped of the hard-hitting backstop they planned to start right away. Coach Dan Quinn's defense -- nearly absent of a pass rush -- opens against the Bucs and Raiders before Neal's potential return in Week 3 against the Saints.

With Ricardo Allen notched at the other safety spot, Neal's loss means a bigger role for Kemal Ishmael, Robenson Therezie and the rest of the club's safety group. With cornerback Jalen Collins also set to serve a four-game suspension, depth is already an issue in Atlanta.

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