It doesn’t look like Los Angeles Chargers wide receiver Keenan Allen will hit the field during the preseason.
It was reported on Thursday that an ankle injury is holding Allen back and seemingly as a precaution, the Chargers are likely to keep him out until the regular-season opener against the Indianapolis Colts.
The Chargers are saying the injury is “not serious” but it is a bit concerning and the reason why is simple. Allen has a fairly serious injury history.
Though that injury history has almost been forgotten due to Allen suiting up and playing in all 32 games over the last two seasons, he played in just nine total games in the two seasons before that.
Here’s what kept him out:
2015: Allen was hurt making a touchdown catch against the Baltimore Ravens. It was revealed to be a kidney injury, and it kept him out the entire second half of the season.
2016: In the season opener against the Kansas City Chiefs and eager to get back on the field, Allen already had six catches for 63 yards in the game before going down in a heap in the middle of the field. After being carted off, it was revealed that he tore his ACL. The agonizing look on Allen’s face as he knew his fate while being carted off is unforgettable.
Now it’s an ankle injury and while it’s entirely possible that the Chargers just want to prevent any further damage being done, we can’t say that Colts quarterback Andrew Luck‘s injury might be more serious than his team is letting on if we don’t consider the same in Allen’s case.
Allen is one of the players the Chargers simply can’t afford to lose. He is Philip Rivers‘ favorite target by far and the team doesn’t have enough talent at wide receiver to replace him, even with multiple players.
Hopefully, he will return to the field no later than September 8 and not miss a beat, but when a player that has suffered the kind of injuries that Allen has pops up with something like this, the red flags instinctively go up.