The Colts are wrapping up phase two of their voluntary offseason program this week, and one notable player hasn't been in attendance so far (other than showing up on the first day). Tight end Dwayne Allen has instead been working out in Arizona away from the team.
The reason, however, is simply because he wants to rehab from injuries and the best way for him to do that is to be in Arizona. "Getting healthy, that's the only reason why I'm not back in Indy, with the guys, going through Phase One and Phase Two," Allen said on 1070 the Fan, per Colts.com's Kevin Bowen.
"The high ankle sprain (from 2014) lingered a little longer then I wanted it to," Allen continued. "I talked to (Coach Pagano) about it and there was an understanding. I've been out here for two months, just grinding, getting my body in good shape so that I can go out and the team can depend on me. Getting late in the year (2014), I had a banged up knee and a banged up ankle. They didn't feel, I didn't feel, that they could depend on me and that was frustrating because I feel as if, in every situation throughout the season, they can count me."
His 2014 season was not nearly as effective as many (including Allen) had hoped, as he struggled through injuries. As a result, I don't think you'll find many people upset with him for missing the Colts' voluntary workouts as he tries to get completely healthy heading into the 2015 season. If that's how Allen can best rehab, then thats what he should do - especially since he cleared it with Chuck Pagano.
With all of that said, however, Allen will be re-joining the Colts next week as phase three of their offseason program begins on Monday, May 18, with OTAs (organized team activities). This is the phase in which teams can do 7-on-7 and 11-on-11 drills and actually get in significant on-field work, and Allen wants to be back with his teammates for that portion of the program.
The 2015 season will be a big one for Dwayne Allen, as his contract will expire after the season along with the contracts of Coby Fleener, Anthony Castonzo, and T.Y. Hilton, among others. When healthy, Allen has the potential to be one of the most complete tight ends in the league when it comes to both blocking and receiving, but he has struggled to stay on the field over the past two seasons. The Colts' offense has plenty of playmakers in the passing game, from receivers T.Y. Hilton, Andre Johnson, Phillip Dorsett, and Donte Moncrief, to running backs Frank Gore and Boom Herron, to tight ends Coby Fleener and Dwayne Allen, but without a doubt there is a significant role for Allen if he's healthy. Last year, he was a central piece of the offense and he'll likely fill a similar role this season. There's little doubt that 2015 will be a huge season for him, however, and so he's working away from the team currently as he rehabs but will be re-joining his teammates next week for OTAs.