Neal inadvertently hit Sheffield while breaking up a pass intended for DJ Moore.
Sheffield is questionable to return. He is being evaluated for a possible head injury.
The Panthers scored a touchdown on their opening drive, benefitting from an 8-yard pass interference penalty on Isaiah Oliver and an unnecessary roughness penalty on Deion Jones for a shoulder shot to Teddy Bridgewater. The defensive penalties came on back-to-back plays.
Curtis Samuel‘s 12-yard touchdown run gave the Panthers a 7-3 lead.
The Falcons settled for a chip-shot field goal after reaching the Carolina 4. They faced a fourth-and-one, calling a timeout before opting to have Younghoe Koo kick the 20-yard field goal.
Julio Jones already has four catches for 85 yards.