I’ve been taking it for granted that Jonathan Allen would return healthy this season, leading to a resurgence in the Redskins defense.
Maybe I need to check my expectations a little bit.
Allen himself seems to be less sure about his return than I have been, up till now.
Allen admitted that while he’s feeling close to full-health, he’s unsure how much he’ll be able to do during OTAs.
“I’m going to be honest, the OTAs they start like end of April, and this will be my first time, so I would like to think so, but I mean, honestly, there’s no way of telling at this point,” Allen said. “I feel like I’m going to be in a good spot come OTAs, so I’m excited for that, and right now, I’m just taking it day by day just trying to grind.”
When Jon Allen was healthy early in the 2017 season, the Redskins had an excellent defense that passed the eye test and was statistically among the best in the NFL.
A lot of the optimism I’ve been feeling about the upcoming 2018 season has been fueled by the idea that the Redskins first-round selection from last year’s draft would be on the field, lining up next to Matt Ioannidis; the pair played very well together on the field before injuries derailed both of their seasons. IoanMan came back mid season with a club on his hand, while Allen went on IR.
It sounds as though Jon Allen is on the road to recovery, but Lisfranc injuries are notoriously tricky. It’s clear, though, that Allen wants to get back on the field as soon as he can.
“I’m out there running, getting off the ball, cutting back,” Allen told Redskins.com. “And there’s definitely a balance because you don’t want to rush back so early, but I feel really good right now. I’m excited about how much progress I made, and I’m looking forward to getting started.”
“I can’t tell you how much I miss it, and how much I can’t wait to just get back out there and be a part of the team again, you know, because it is different,” Allen said. “You’re a part of the team but you don’t feel like you’re truly a part of the team when you’re not on the field. You’re not dying in practice with your guys, so that’s definitely the stuff that I miss.”
Teammate Mason Foster sounded very positive about Allen’s comeback. He says that the DL group is working hard.
“In the way that he works, he’s in here now doing the ladders and him and Matt [Ioannidis] in here killing each other, trying to lift with Ziggy [Hood], running all the time, so I think you see a guy with that much raw talent and that much drive to be good and he surrounds himself with guys that are pushing him, I think he’s going to be big-time in this league.”
It sounds like our young stud defensive tackle is working hard, making progress, but not fully recovered and not so much focused on being back for OTAs as simply getting healthy and ready for training camp or even just the regular season.
In any event, I’m hoping to see the big man back on the field with Matty I and Stacy McGee sometime this off-season or pre-season.
If the team can sign Johnathan Hankins, or draft another athletic defensive lineman or linebacker to help improve the run defense, I’d feel even better about the team’s efforts to build the defensive bully that I want to see.