By Justin Adkins:
Nate Allen is recovering well from the devastating knee injury he suffered while the Eagles played the New York Giants this past December. The second-round safety had his rookie season derailed by a torn patellar tendon in his knee, but Allen feels good about his rehab and the fact that he’s finally out of the brace he’s been wearing.
“About the end of March I’ll be jogging on it, but I’m walking in the pool, doing some balance stuff, strength stuff and all that,” he said following rehab Wednesday at the NovaCare Complex.
“I feel good. I’m happy with where I am. It feels good to be out of that brace, I know that.”
Per Geoff Mosher of courierpostonline.com, Allen said he’d likely miss all spring minicamps while continuing to rehab the knee. The good news is that Allen also said he’d be 100 percent for the start of July’s training camp.
Of course, in addition to the rehab a major potential obstacle for Allen is the pending lockout. If the owners and players are stupid enough to fail to get a new CBA deal done in March, Allen’s continued rehab would be affected as he’d be barred from any contact with the team during a lockout. That would include the team doctors and medical staff.
If that does happen though, Allen is prepared. If he can’t work out with the team, Allen will return to the place he trained at for the draft — Athlete’s Performance in Arizona.
“I know it’s a real good place,” he said. “When I was out there before the combine I pulled my quad and they got me back to 100 percent, so I’ve got a lot of faith in them from that part of it.”
And while the Eagles may have thrown the football world a curve with the hiring of offensive line coach Juan Castillo as the team’s new defensive coordinator, Allen doesn’t seem to mind the change.
“I had to deal with that in college,” Allen said. “Every year I was always having to learn the new defense. I’m looking forward to it. (Juan) has told me he’s going to keep a lot of terminology the same.”
The Eagles desperately need Allen to return healthy. Already a weakness, the secondary can’t afford to lose one of its best players. Long time strong safety Quintin Mikell is a potential free agent, leaving the Eagles with Allen, fellow second-year players Kurt Coleman, Colt Anderson, and Jamar Wall, and journeyman Jamar Adams as the only other safeties on the roster. A 2010 seventh-round pick, Coleman showed some potential but is more likely suited for a nickel safety role. Anderson is a great special teamer but probably doesn’t belong on the field for an NFL defense. Adams and Wall are barely practice squadders.
Oh yeah, and Marlin Jackson, who makes Cornelius Ingram look durable.
Allen had an up and down season, showing big play potential early but disappearing for stretches. His continued development this offseason is just as critical as his rehab, so hopefully the players and owners get their heads out of their backsides and work out a new deal soon so Allen can get back to work ASAP.
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