We are currently counting down the 15 most important players for the Indianapolis Colts in 2015, and a player who made the top ten at number nine is tight end Dwayne Allen. There is little doubt that, if Allen stays healthy this year, he will have a huge impact on the Colts' offense and their success.
After being drafted by the Colts in the third round in 2012, Allen played in every single game in his rookie season and impressed, showing great abilities in both the receiving game and in blocking. The following year, however, Allen was injured in the first game of the season and missed the remainder of the year. He came back in 2014 and played in all but three games, but he played injured for much of the season and wasn't as effective. When he's healthy, however, Allen has the potential to be one of the most well-rounded tight ends in the game and be a major factor in the offense. Through his first three years, Allen has played in 30 games and has caught 75 passes for 936 yards and 12 scores, averaging 12.5 yards per catch. He is a very reliable receiver for Andrew Luck and a capable safety blanket, also providing a great red zone threat (he caught eight touchdown passes in 2014).
Allen's role is firmly entrenched with the Colts, at least for this year. After the season, Allen will be a free agent and, while the Colts want to re-sign him, we'll have to wait and see if that actually happens. Right now, however, Allen is a key part of what the Colts want to do, and his role won't be phased out of the offense simply because of the talent they have at wide receiver. Allen can contribute significantly in the receiving game, yes, but he also is a very good blocker and can play in the backfield as well, filling the fullback role that enables the Colts to go without a real fullback on their roster. Allen has been a crucial fixture in the offense, and the only question has been his health status. He needs to prove in 2015 that he can stay healthy, as he has dealt with some injuries over the past few seasons, but if he does indeed avoid injury he should be a huge factor once again for the Colts this season.