Major, major news coming today from Colts head coach Chuck Pagano's press conference: tight end Dwayne Allen will undergo season-ending hip surgery.
The Colts had hoped that Allen's hip would heal on it's own with rest, but after seeing other doctors the decision was made for Allen to undergo surgery. "He's a tough kid," said Pagano. "For the long term, for the big picture, it's the right thing." The decision was made in light of the fact that Allen is only in his second year and has an incredibly bright future ahead of him.
Allen is the third offensive starter the Colts have lost to a season ending injury in just the past week. First it was running back Vick Ballard (torn ACL), then it was left guard Donald Thomas (torn quad), and now it's Allen.
"It's tough, but you have no choice. It's part of the game. Some years are like that" Pagano said, before adding that "we've got capable guys in that locker room."
Regardless of who the Colts have to fill in for Allen, they won't be able to replace him - at least not fully. Allen is too good of a player to be easily replaced. This preseason, I listed Allen as the sixth most important player to the Colts success in 2013. The bulk of the article, actually, was written way back when Allen was injured in preseason and we feared he was going to miss significant time. That makes it a timely read now, as he's out for the year this time.
This will mean that Coby Fleener becomes an even bigger part of the Colts offense. Also, I wouldn't expect the team to bring in another tight end from the outside just yet. They already have Fleener, Dominique Jones, and Jack Doyle on the active roster and Justice Cunningham on the practice squad. They seem set, but they'll be without the elite talent of Allen.
Check back later today for an article looking at how this loss affects the Colts.