Colts TE Dwayne Allen Played at 70-Percent Last Season


Tight end Dwayne Allen might be the most talented offensive player on the Indianapolis Colts roster not named ‘Andrew Luck.’ If only Allen’s body would let him achieve the greatness we’ve seen flashes of over the past three years.

After starting all 16 games in his rookie season, Allen would injure his hip in the season opener in 2013, landing him on the injured reserve list. He finished with one reception for 20 yards and a touchdown in 30 snaps that season.

In 2014, Allen started the season off strong, scoring a touchdown in seven of the first nine games last year. But a high ankle sprain early against the Patriots would sideline him for the next two weeks and he wasn’t the same player when he returned. He would injure his knee against the Cowboys after dropping three passes in just eight snaps.

In all, it has cost 18 starts and the vast majority of two more games if you take out the meager snaps last season against the Patriots and Cowboys. Allen decided to spend the offseason rehabbing and working out in Arizona, which the team had approved.

Allen returned this week after a plea from coach Chuck Pagano to be with the team. It was an understandable request with the Colts trying to integrate a number of new players into the offense (and considering offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton recently said he ripped up part of his playbook after the team drafted WR Phillip Dorsett).

Kevin Bowen at spoke with Allen upon his return, where he talked about his injuries and training program.

"“I felt 70 percent for the better part of (2014),” Allen said on Wednesday, upon returning from Arizona to rejoin the Colts offseason program.“Having an offseason to really train like the offseason I had my rookie year or the offseason I had going into the second year, before I was injured, was my main focus. I’m glad I was able to get away and get that taken care of.“It’s a long season especially whenever you play into late January. My biggest focus this offseason was to get my body into a position where I can go out and have the best season for this team.”"

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It was very clear that Allen wasn’t healthy after the ankle injury. He had just three receptions for 21 yards and a touchdown as well as suddenly becoming a liability in run blocking. Allen was a bit better in the playoffs, but still struggled as a blocker (which had been one of his greatest strengths).

An interview with IndyStar’s Zak Keefer expanded on how Allen was feeling due to his numerous injuries.

"“I felt a disconnect because of the hip surgery that I had (in 2013), and I didn’t really have time to train,” Allen said. “My legs were on my body but it didn’t feel like I was controlling them always.“Everyone plays hurt,” he continued. “Not everyone plays injured. I understood for a lot of the year I was hurt, and towards the end of the year, I was injured.”“Because of the hip injury, I wasn’t firing through my glutes,” he said. “So I worked on different activation techniques to get my glutes firing.”“In order for me to serve this team in a better way, going out to Arizona and getting healthy and coming back here a whole person instead of playing with a gimp leg or whatever it was all last season (was my best option),” he said."

Allen, along with the rest of the 2012 class (sans Luck), are all entering a contract year. The team is unlikely to re-sign everyone, and being healthy will go a long way towards earning that next deal with the Colts.