This is the Keenan Allen we’ve been waiting for

CARSON, CA - DECEMBER 03: Keenan Allen
CARSON, CA - DECEMBER 03: Keenan Allen /
CARSON, CA – DECEMBER 03: Keenan Allen
CARSON, CA – DECEMBER 03: Keenan Allen /

One season removed from a serious injury, Los Angeles Chargers wide receiver Keenan Allen is on fire and showing the world what kind of player he is.

It’s fair to say that Keenan Allen is somewhat underrated and underappreciated in the NFL.

What I mean by that is, he’s always had the talent and potential to be one of the top receivers in the game, but injuries have held him back. Not only that, but there’s been several debates as to whether or not Allen is a true No. 1 receiver.

Allen made a name for himself after a special rookie season, but he’s been a slightly forgotten man ever since. In 2014, Allen, who took a step back in the stat sheets, missed the final two games with a broken collarbone. In 2015, a lacerated kidney kept him out of the last eight games. Last season, he suffered a torn ACL in the first half of the Bolts’ season opener.

Which circles back to my point: Fans (in general) had yet to really see what Keenan Allen could do up until now. And with the Chargers winning, Allen, who has played a huge role in the team’s resurgence, is finally getting exposure.

We’re 13 weeks into the 2017 season, and the 25-year-old Allen has already surpassed 1,000 receiving yards (he’s 14 yards shy of his career best of 1,046); he currently ranks fifth in receiving yards. He already tied his career high in receptions with 77; he currently is tied for fourth in receptions. Also, his five 100-yard performances this season are the most since his rookie year (2013). Again, there’s four games left.

Oh, and he just set some sort of record..

.@Keenan13Allen is the 1st player in NFL history to have:

✔️10+ catches ✔️100+ receiving yards✔️1+ TD catchin 3 consecutive games.

— Los Angeles Chargers (@Chargers) December 4, 2017

Nobody knew if Allen would fully recover from a torn ACL, but he’s come back better than ever and is oozing with confidence. His route-running is elite, and his ability to create yards after the catch is something else. He does his damage in the slot but can also line up out wide.

More importantly, offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt is finally utilizing arguably his best offensive playmaker. Allen has double-digit targets the past three games after being targeted less than 10 times in each of the four games prior. And he’s been clutch when it counts, coming up with a league-leading 26 catches for a first on third down.

This is the Keenan Allen we’ve been waiting for. And if he continues to put on a show, there’s no doubt in my mind that he’ll be the NFL’s Comeback Player of the Year at season’s end.