Atlanta Falcons safety Ricardo Allen underwent shoulder surgery at the end of last season and was expected to have a long road to recovery ahead, but it looks like he’ll be ready by the start of the season.
Allen gave Falcons’ reporter, Will McFadden an update saying he’s “right on schedule” with his shoulder rehab.
However, he said he can’t do a push-up yet.
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Allen Played a Key Role for Falcons Defense Improvement
After the team lost Keanu Neal for 2019, Allen’s role at safety became vital for the already diminishing Falcons defense. Allen did his part and set a personal best in passes defended and had the second-best mark of his career in tackles. Allen was a key part of the Falcons’ improvement moving from the 28th to 22nd in pass defense between 2018 and 2019.
As a team captain, Allen finished the 2019 Falcons season recording 84 tackles, eight pass deflections, and two interceptions. He played all 16 regular-season games.
The downfall is that this will be the second consecutive offseason Allen has spent rehabbing. In week 3 of 2018 against the New Orlean Saints, Allen tore his Achilles and went into surgery that forced him to miss the season and rehab into the following offseason.
Allen came back much healthier this year and played pretty well for the Falcons. He also changed positions for the benefit of the team, from free safety to strong safety. Atlanta selected Ricardo Allen as its nominee for the NFL’s Walter Payton Man of the Year award. The winner of the Walter Payton Man of the Year Award recognizes a player for his excellence on and off the field.
Allen Returning to Potentially No Fans in the Stands
In his interview with the local media this week, he also touched on what it would be like with no fans in the stands.
“If we gotta go play a game and this is what we have to do, this is going to be considered the new norm—I am going to find a way in my mind to get it switched faster than somebody who might need the fans.”
Allen made it clear he’s going to play his best with or without the fans in the stands and that America needs sports right now.
‘If that’s going to be a reason to say if I’m going to play good or not, that won’t be my reason. If I have to sacrifice and go play football with just cameramen following us around, I wanna play some ball. ”
Falcons’ Safety Situation
The Falcons definitely do not need another guy at the safety position considering theirs is looking a little crowded right now. It’ll be quite the competition this offseason. The Falcons safety depth looks like Ricardo Allen, Keanu Neal, Damontae Kazee, Sharrod Neasmon, Jamal Carter as well as Chris Cooper.
Ricardo Allen and Damontae Kazee have been Atlanta’s go-to guys since Keanu Neal had torn his Achilles in Week 3 last season. Head coach Dan Quinn started Damontae Kazee at free safety and moved Ricardo Allen to strong safety.
Kazee stepped up when he needed to last season, making him a reliable asset to the offense. Over the past two seasons, Kazee has recorded 10 interceptions.
Allen and Neal will both be returning coming off of surgeries from last season so they will have to earn their spots back.