COSTA MESA, Calif. (AP) — If there were any doubts that Los Angeles Chargers wide receiver Keenan Allen is healthy again, joint practices with the Rams and New Orleans Saints have quashed them.
Allen caught touchdowns in live red-zone and goal-line drills against the Saints, and also had an impressive one-handed grab in the 7-on-7 period. But it was a hit the previous week in the first meeting of the future stadium co-tenants that has been the talk of the Chargers’ training camp.
Allen executed a perfect tackle of cornerback Nickell Robey-Coleman during a scuffle between the Chargers wide receivers and Rams secondary, showcasing two-handed form that wouldn’t have been out of place in mixed martial arts. It was a good reminder than Allen was once regarded as the best safety recruit in the country before he started playing receiver at California.
“That was a good takedown,” Chargers offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt said.
Allen joked that it almost led to a change of position.
“I almost got moved to safety, if y’all must know,” Allen said.
That fearlessness is what Allen is trying to recapture after suffering a torn ACL in his right knee in the season opener last year. It was the third consecutive season that Allen ended the year on injured reserve, and he has been limited to just nine games over the last two years.
There was a lacerated kidney that sidelined Allen for the final eight games of the 2015 season. A broken collarbone ended his 2014 season with two games to go.
The unpredictable nature of the three unrelated injuries was most frustrating to Allen.
“It’s tough, man, but we signed up for it. It comes with the game,” Allen said.
However, Allen’s last injury allowed Tyrell Williams to emerge as a 1,000-yard receiver to give the Chargers another asset in the passing game.
With Philip Rivers spreading the ball around to Allen, Williams, Dontrelle Inman and speedy Travis Benjamin, it will be a challenge for opposing defenses to focus on any receiver.
Source: Fox Sports