As the Philadelphia Eagles entered training camp this year, there were questions about the status of safety Nate Allen, who suffered a torn patellar tendon in late December last year.
When Allen came in, he said that he felt close to being back to full strength, but he wasn’t quite there yet. He was still able to get on the field in the first two preseason games, but now he’s experiencing a bit of a set back.
As the Eagles approach their third preseason game, the last good tune-up for the starters, Allen will be kept on a short lease. While the knee injury still hampers the second-year player, he’ll be splitting time with Jarrad Page.
Allen was changed from the free safety position to the strong safety position this year as well, although defensive coordinator Juan Castillo says he basically wants the two safety positions to be interchangeable.
This has had Allen seeing more time around the line of scrimmage. Might this have something to do with his ability to keep up with receivers while his knee is still recovering?
I’ve always thought Allen was stronger in coverage trying to make plays on the ball. However, we’ve seen early struggles in coverage from him this year, as it appears he is half a step slower versus full strength.
Having Allen split time with Page seems to be a smart precaution, but I have to wonder why the Eagles waited so long. Was Allen never as close to full strength as he thought, or is this a set-back?
We’ve seen teams take advantage of the Eagles safeties in the preseason, so it’s an area of concern. With the talent they have at the corner position, quarterbacks will undoubtedly target Philly's linebackers and safeties.
I believe in a short period last season, we saw a ton of potential in Allen, and he could be a really good player in this league. However, he’s going to need to be fully healthy before he can do so.