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Colts 2016 player preview: Tight end Dwayne Allen

NFL: Indianapolis Colts at Jacksonville Jaguars Jim Steve-USA TODAY Sports

The Indianapolis Colts will report to training camp on July 26 with their 90-man roster, which will be cut down to 53 players by the end of the preseason. To pass the time until camp, we’re taking a look at every player on the Colts’ 90-man roster. Today, we’re looking at tight end Dwayne Allen.

Who is he?

The Colts had to make a decision this offseason about which of their free agent tight ends to re-sign, and they made their choice loud and clear by giving Dwayne Allen a four-year extension worth over $29 million. It’s huge money for a player with Allen’s production in the NFL, but the Colts paid Allen just as much based on his talent and potential as on his production in his first four years. Drafted in the third round by the Colts in 2012, Allen has played in 43 games (starting 42 of them) during his time with Indianapolis, catching 91 passes for 1,045 yards and 13 touchdowns. He has dealt with injuries in each of the past three seasons (missing at least three games in each of them), and in 2015 he managed just 16 receptions for 109 yards and a touchdown in a disappointing season.

What is his role?

Dwayne Allen’s role as the starting tight end is absolutely clear and unquestioned, and it’s a role the Colts are confident he can fill capably. They are committed to utilizing him more than they did last year (which isn’t saying much) and we should see a significant increase in targets for the tight end. He’ll also be used as a blocker as the Colts take advantage of his all-around skillset. The main question with Allen is whether he can stay healthy and on the field, but if he can do that there’s reason to believe he will have a productive year as the Colts’ top tight end.

What are his chances?

He’s the Colts’ number one tight end and nothing is changing that except for an injury.