Keenan Alexander Allen is 28 years old and was born in Greensboro, North Carolina. In high school, he played football, basketball, and track. Allen was gifted at track and field competing in sprinting and the long jump. Finishing high school, he was a five-star recruit and considered the top defensive back in the nation. Initially, he committed to go to the University of Alabama to play safety, but eventually switched to California to play wide receiver with his half brother (bold move).
Allen started at wide receiver for three years at Cal, and in his freshman year, he caught 46 passes for 490 yards and 5 touchdowns. In his sophomore year, he had his best season catching 98 passes for 1,343 yards and 6 touchdowns.
Allen only played 9 games in his junior season but still managed to catch 61 passes for 737 yards and 6 touchdowns. Allen suffered a PCL sprain in his knee during the 2012 season, and as a result was not able to work out at the NFL Combine. At the time, he measured 6’2” tall and weighed 206 pounds.
His draft stock fell as a result of not being 100% healthy during his pro day, leading him to run a 4.71-second 40-yard dash. The San Diego Chargers selected Allen in the third round in the 2013 NFL Draft.
Allen had an impressive NFL rookie season, leading the way with 71 receptions and 1,046 yards. In 2014 he only played in 14 games, catching 72 passes for 783 yards and 4 touchdowns. He followed it up with a monster start to the 2015 season but only played in 8 games after suffering a kidney injury.
After signing in an impressive extension to start the 2016 season, Allen tore his ACL in the first game of the season, causing him to miss the rest of the season. Rough 1.5 years for Allen, first suffering a kidney injury then tearing his ACL. Thankfully he bounced back stronger than ever, posting an impressive 2017 season, playing all 16 games catching 102 passes for 1,393 yards and 6 touchdowns. Allen hasn’t missed an NFL game since tearing his ACL in 2016. Allen has brought in over 97 passes and gone over 1,196 yards in three consecutive seasons. He also has an annual streak of exactly 6 scores since 2017.Let’s review some of Keenan Allen‘s injuries. In his junior year at California, he suffered a knee injury (PCL). The PCL is the thick ligament that crisscrosses with the ACL. The injury is hard to sustain and not very common. Traditionally these athletes do not undergo surgery but have to rehab for several months to get the knee feeling normal again.
The PCL is responsible for preventing the knee from slipping backward, virtually the opposite of the ACL. Additionally, Allen had to have right ankle surgery secondary to significantly injured ligaments while playing basketball.
Allen’s 2014 season prematurely ended when he broke his right collarbone in Week 15. These traditionally heal quite well, depending on the location of the fracture. They are usually not concerning after healing except if the player is a quarterback, like Aaron Rodgers, a couple of years ago.
In the 2015 season, Allen suffered a big hit, which likely caused a rib injury and indirectly caused a cut to one of his kidneys. The injury is not uncommon and depending on the severity of the damage usually requires several weeks of rest to allow things to get back to normal. Usually, these do not cause issues going forward.
The following season Allen tore his ACL in the first game of the season and required season-ending surgery. The good news is that he came back strong and finally put his best season together as he collected a stat line of 102-1,393-6 despite coming off of an ACL tear.
Allen suffered a minor ankle sprain in the preseason of 2019, but this did not affect him or cost him any games. In mid-October, he was dealing with a hamstring strain, but it must have been mild as he was able to play through it and did not miss any games.
Going forward, Allen has been impressive over the past three seasons after struggling to stay healthy in the previous three. If he was a victim of bad luck in the first half of his NFL career, he’s had quite good luck in the latter half.
Keenan Allen has been a model of consistency over the last few seasons. He continues to catch over 100 passes and 1,200 yards. Allen also seems to like scoring six touchdowns, as he has done the previous three years.
In 2019, Allen had 104 receptions (T-3rd), 1,199 yards (6th), and his six scores put him tied for 24th in the NFL. His 11.5 yards per catch was a dismal 77th.
Allen has been a top-13 fantasy product at wide receiver in receptions, targets, and receiving yards in his last three seasons.
The cohesion with Philip Rivers has been remarkable. It has accounted for 751 of the 758 targets Allen has had in his professional career. Unfortunately, Rivers is now in Indianapolis, and he will have Tyrod Taylor and/or rookie Justin Herbert throwing him the ball.
However, even with Rivers in 2019, Allen was a boom or bust fantasy option. He was a top-20 WR in half of his games, but outside the top-30 in the other portion of contests.
Taylor is more the athletic type than a long-distance thrower. He has never gone over 7 yards per attempt. While Herbert also has running skills, a big frame and a cannon for an arm. However, he is inconsistent.
Allen has never been a red-zone presence, and Rivers has routinely gone to his tight end, whether that is Antonio Gates or Henry. Also, Mike Williams has the leaping ability to get the 50-50 balls or fade throws.
The key to Allen’s success has been his route running, quick in and out of his breaks, with strong hands. He knows how to get himself open. However, will any of this matter if Taylor or Herbert can’t get him the ball?
Los Angeles will run more now with an unproven commodity at quarterback, and this will limit the ceiling on Allen’s production. Also, Austin Ekeler will steal targets away. As much talent that Allen has, it will be difficult for him to produce in the top-15 of wide receivers due to all the obstacles.
The Chargers offense finished with 337 points scored (21st), 5879 yards (10th), while also finishing in the top-10 in passing attempts (597), yards (4426), and with 24 touchdowns (17th), but again, this will change as running will become used at a higher frequency in the Los Angeles offense.
The Los Angeles Chargers offensive line is in the middle of the road. There will be two new starters as Trai Turner comes from Carolina and is a Pro Bowl talent. Bryan Bulaga arrives from Green Bay via free agency. Trey Pipkins, Sam Tevi, Storm Norton, Trent Scott will battle out to start at left tackle. Mike Pouncey returns from injury. The line utilizes a zone-spread offense.
Sports Injury Predictor calculates that Allen has a 53.5% chance of injury and projects him to miss almost two games in 2020. Looking at his overall risk in terms of career injuries, I (Dr. Morse) can see how this is justifiable. However, I think his risk is a little less than this as he has put together several seasons in a row where he is not only productive but healthy.
My risk score for him is 4 out of 10.
I (Dr. Morse) think the better question for Allen in 2020 is how he does with a new quarterback for the first time in a long time, as Philip Rivers is now in Indianapolis. With Tyrod Taylor behind center, how will this offense look?
Allen is currently being drafted as the WR19 in PPR leagues, after finishing WR6 in 2019. From a health perspective, draft him with confidence. He joins Austin Ekeler, Mike Williams, Andre Patton, and Hunter Henry as the majority of the offense for the Chargers in 2020.
It is a good position for him, but it will be difficult for him to finish as WR2 without the volume he typically has and not being a threat to score touchdowns. Anything after WR24 should be an automatic buy.
Injury Risk: Low. 4/10.
|Projected Missed||Probability of injury per game ?||Probablity of injury in the season ?|
|Oct 24, 2019||Thigh Hamstring Sprain/Pull Unspecified Grade 1||He appeared on the injury report with a hamstring. He played next game against the Bears|
|Aug 15, 2019||Pedal Ankle Sprain/Pull Unspecified Grade 1||Allen suffered an ankle injury at practice that is not considered serious but knocked him out of the Chargers’ remaining three preseason games. Allen managed to get back for the regular-season opener|
|Sep 11, 2016||Knee ACL Tear Grade 3||Keenan Allen tore his right ACL in Week 1 and missed the rest of the 2016 season.|
|Nov 1, 2015||Abdomen Kidney Lacerated||Allen came down for a touchdown pass hard on his back and lacerated his kidney. He had a non-surgical procedure and was placed on IR.|
|Oct 18, 2015||Inguinal Hip Sprain||Keenan Allen suffered a minor hip strain, which sidelined him for 1 quarter, but was able to return to the following week's action.|
|Dec 14, 2014||Shoulder Clavicle Fracture||Allen got pulled awkwardly in his Week 15 game against the Broncos and had to leave with a sprained ankle and fractured collarbone. He missed the final 2 games of the season.|
|Dec 14, 2014||Pedal Ankle Sprain/Pull Unspecified Grade 1||Allen got pulled awkwardly in his Week 15 game against the Broncos and had to leave with a sprained ankle and fractured collarbone. He missed the final 2 games of the season.|
|Sep 18, 2014||Inguinal Groin Pull Grade 1||Allen suffered a minor groin injury in practice. He didn't miss any game time.|
|Dec 8, 2013||Shoulder A/C Joint Sprain||Allen fell on his shoulder awkwardly during Week 14 and sprained his A/C joint but didn't miss any games as a result.|
|Nov 17, 2013||Knee Strain Grade 1||Allen strained his knee but was unaffected by the injury.|
|Oct 27, 2012||Knee PCL Sprain Grade 2||Allen suffered a Grade 2 PCL strain -- according to Dr. James Andrews -- in his final college season and missed the last 3 games.|
|Mar 1, 2012||Pedal Ankle Ligament Tear Grade 3||Allen needed right ankle surgery after he "messed up ligaments" while playing basketball.|