PHILADELPHIA – Fledgling Eagles receiver Devon Allen will not be trying to serve two masters this summer and the silver lining to that reality is likely a better opportunity to make the 53-man roster in Philadelphia.
A calf injury forced him Allen withdraw from the USATF Championships last weekend at Hayward Field in Eugene, Ore. where the two-time Olympian was attempting to qualify for the World Athletic Championships in the 110-hurdles set for Budapest, Hungary, Aug. 19-27.
That timing would have basically forced Allen, 28, to decide if his NFL dreams are worth it at the expense of his standing as one of the top hurdlers in the world.
The Eagles will report to the NovaCare Complex for training camp on July 25 and that late August period is when Allen would be stating his case when it comes to the initial roster.
First and foremost to all of this, however, is Allen’s health because it’s no guarantee that he will be healthy enough to make a push for the Eagles. Any soft-tissue injury for a so-called thoroughbred in the NFL world is serious because speed is a part of the skill set that sets a layer like Allen apart.
Allen limped across the finish line during his qualifier last Saturday and sat out the final on Sunday.
There is optimism that the injury isn’t serious, though.
“Just being a little bit cautious with this, you know, I don’t want to ultimately hurt myself seriously,” Allen told Flo Track after the meet. “I got training camp coming up in a few weeks. A lot of it is big picture, in terms of my health.”
For now, Allen claims he’s playing it safe.
“Just kind of playing it safe, in terms of making sure I don’t do anymore if there’s an injury,” Allen said. “The best thing you can do is be fresh and healthy at a meet like this so that was the goal.”
Although not considered a favorite by any means for a roster spot Allen has an opportunity because the Eagles need proven depth behind star receivers A.J. Brown and DeVonta Smith. WR3 Quez Watkins is coming off a down season and free-agent signing Olamide Zaccheaus is somewhat proven but is better suited for slot work.
From there comes punt returner Britain Covey, who is also limited to teh slot as a receiver, as well as veteran Greg Ward, and unproven young players Tyrie Cleveland, Charleston Rambo, as well as undrafted rookies Joseph Ngata and Jadon Haslwood.
Allen was a productive receiver at Oregon in 2014, catching 41 passes for 684 yards and seven touchdowns before shifting his focus to track and field.
Allen signed with the Eagles in April of 2022 claiming time was running out in his quest to eventually play in the NFL.