The title for fastest man on the Philadelphia Eagles should be a one-man race. Devon Allen is an Olympian and professional track athlete. He ran the 40-yard dash in 4.35 seconds while racking up national hurdling championships.
Allen should face no challenge in claiming fastest Eagle. He is a walking blur of a human, like Barry Allen. Flash. Yet several of his teammates want to test their luck at beating him in race. The most vocal of those guys? Darius Slay who ran the 40 in a blistering fast 4.36 seconds at the 2013 Combine.
Slay not only wants to race Allen, but he thinks he can beat him. The two might line their sneakers up at training camp to settle the debate once and for all. If they do, Allen revealed on Takeoff that he had put a $10,000 price tag on it.
“I know Slay is very fast. I know he’s a little bit older. I’m not going to talk too much crap because I’m a 27-year-old rookie,” Allen told John Clark, “but some of the guys have been like ‘let’s race’ and I’m okay with that but with me being a pro track and field athlete, I don’t race for free, so I’m like, ‘alright we’ll race’ but $10,000 a race and nobody took me up on that yet.”
Slay heard Allen’s challenge and immediately responded on Twitter: “line it up lol.” To which Allen chimed back: “Let’s get it!” Remember, the two bonded about two months ago when Slay showed up to support Allen at The Penn Relays. They clearly have a healthy friendship brewing.
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Allen Tested Positive for COVID-19
Allen had been missing at Eagles OTAs in recent days, but he had a valid excuse: he tested positive for COVID-19. That’s right, the world-class Olympic athlete had a very brief battle with coronavirus – 10 hours, Allen said – but stayed away from the team facility for fear of spreading it to his teammates.
“COVID didn’t hit me quite as hard which I feel pretty lucky,” Allen said. “You know, I got the vaccine and the booster and all that. I was sick for about 10 hours, and then I kind of snapped out of it.”
He hasn’t been on the field with the Eagles for two weeks, although the 27-year-old rookie has been in every single meeting thanks to Zoom. Allen said he doesn’t feel like he missed too much as he studies the playbook at home.
“I haven’t really missed much other than the on-field stuff,” Allen said.
He has a few major track events still on the books before training camp. For starters, Allen is competing in the Grand Prix on June 12 in New York City. Getting COVID-19 shut down a good chunk of his training time, although the extra rest on his body could benefit him in the long run.
“The plan was to spend last week in Philly and then this week getting ready for the Grand Prix in New York but unfortunately, I got COVID so I took last week off and didn’t really do anything,” Allen told Clark. “Not really the most ideal like recovery situation but my body feels a little bit fresh in terms of I wasn’t training and kind of pounding myself into the ground. I’m confident all the training that I’ve done at OTAs in March and April is going to kind of show through.”
One of the Fastest Guys in the World
Allen – a three-time national champion in the 110-meter hurdles – knows why the Eagles signed him to a three-year contract. They believe in his speed. He’s going to be given a shot to play receiver and look for his name on special teams where he can flash those wheels as a return man. Allen is one of the fastest guys in the world.
“My teammates are excited that I’m here,” Allen told Clark. “They seem to be pretty excited and think that it’s cool that I am the track athlete and the Olympian, some of the guys came out to The Penn Relays about a month and a half ago as well.
“And, for the most part, I think my job is to be the fast guy. I’m one of the fastest guys in the world so I need to show that on the field and that’s something I’m hoping to do. It’ll be about 10 days after world champs that I report to training camp and I expect to be the fastest I’ve ever been in my life.”
The World Athletics Championships run from July 15-July 24 at the University of Oregon. Allen plans on competing there in the 110-meter hurdles. The Eagles report to camp on July 26.