Keenan Allen has experienced a number of injuries the past few years. While at California in 2012, he tore his PCL and required surgery. In 2013, Allen flashed bouts of dominance as a rookie and managed to stay healthy the entire season. But last season, Allen’s play dipped before he suffered a sprained ankle and broken collarbone in Week 15 that forced him to miss the remainder of the season. Enjoying a bounce-back season, Allen is currently fantasy No. 4 overall WR in PPR.
However, Allen’s season is now over. Allen suffered a kidney laceration Sunday against the Ravens and spent the night in the hospital. He required a non-surgical procedure to stop the internal bleeding. Allen is expected to make a full recovery, but not in time to play again in 2015, as the Chargers have placed him on injured reserve. Some will bill Allen as “injury-prone,” but this injury along with last year’s broken collarbone are simply hard-luck injuries. Allen recommitted himself this previous offseason and was on pace for a dominant 134-1,450-8 receiving line in the Chargers’ high-powered passing offense. He’ll turn 24 next April and enter the final year of his rookie deal.
In the meantime, the Chargers will move forward with Malcom Floyd and Stevie Johnson as their Nos. 1 and 2 receivers. Dontrelle Inman will step in in three-wide sets and posted some respectable numbers Weeks 16 and 17 last season with back-to-back 7-79 and 5-79 games. Look for the Chargers to employ more two-tight end sets with Antonio Gates and Ladarius Green once both are fully healthy. Gates should pace San Diego in targets the rest of the way, while the rest of the bunch, including Danny Woodhead, fight for the scraps. Floyd remains the go-to deep threat.
In Other News…
Joseph Randle injured his oblique Week 7 and was yanked as the starter three days later at practice. Randle decided to go AWOL from the team, skipping a treatment session, before later returning to Valley Ranch. Still, the Cowboys were concerned about his mental well-being that they had counselors working with him. Everything came to a head on Tuesday, and the Cowboys waived the 23-year-old. He was averaging 53 yards per game and 4.1 YPC this season. Randle is talented, but has a 10-cent head. He may have to wait until after Week 17 to get another shot.
The Titans handed coach Ken Whisenhunt a gargantuan five-year contract ahead of the 2014 season, grossly overpaying him to lure him away from the Lions after he was part of the Chargers’ staff that helped resuscitate Philip Rivers’ career in San Diego. This was despite the fact Whisenhunt has never been a good head coach without Kurt Warner as his quarterback. On Tuesday, the Titans fired Whisenhunt, 23 games into his Titans tenure and a mere five games into the Marcus Mariota era. It’s hard not to feel for Whisenhunt. The roster is bad, and he got little time with his rookie quarterback. Still, Whisenhunt’s team was playing below its talent level. TEs coach Mike Mularkey has been named interim coach. He “led” the Jaguars to a 2-14 record as their coach in 2012.
Whisenhunt wasn’t the only coach to get canned on Tuesday. With the Colts off to a 3-5 start, GM Ryan Grigson needed a scapegoat and found one. OC Pep Hamilton was let go Tuesday despite the offense hardly being the root of the problem in Indianapolis. Andrew Luck has been hurt and not playing well, and Hamilton guided this unit to elite numbers last season. The Colts’ defense remains in shambles, and that’s supposed to be coach Chuck Pagano’s expertise. Pagano and Grigson lucked into the easiest No. 1 overall pick in recent memory with Luck in 2012 and have been riding the quarterback’s coattail the past three seasons. Now that he’s injured, the truth that this roster stinks is coming out. Grigson and Pagano will be lucky to keep their jobs past January 4. Former Panthers OC and Browns coach Rob Chudzinski has been named the Colts’ new OC.
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Quarterback & Running Back Slants
Le’Veon Bell is expected to be sidelined 6-9 months with his torn MCL. He should be ready for training camp next year. His ACL is intact. … The Titans worked out free agent QB Christian Ponder on Tuesday. … The 49ers placed Reggie Bush on season-ending I.R. with a torn MCL. … Chargers placed RB Branden Oliver on injured reserve with turf toe, ending his season. … There’s reportedly a “strong sense” the front office forced coach Jim Tomsula to bench Colin Kaepernick in favor of Blaine Gabbert. … Josh McCown (shoulder, ribs) didn’t practice Tuesday and is expected to miss Thursday night’s game against the Bengals. Johnny Manziel would get the start. … Orleans Darkwa is battling a “badly bruised tailbone” but hopes to play Week 9 against the Bucs. … Bengals OC Hue Jackson said the arrow is pointing up on Jeremy Hill after recently saying Hill wasn’t playing up to his standards. … Ben Roethlisberger (knee) didn’t suffer any setbacks Week 8. … Coach Mike Tomlin confirmed DeAngelo Williams will be the “feature” back minus Le’Veon Bell. … After signing Shaun Draughn on Monday, the 49ers also added Pierre Thomas on Tuesday. … The Cowboys fully expect Tony Romo to be back by Week 11. … Coach Mike Pettine admitted Duke Johnson needs more touches in the Browns’ backfield. Robert Turbin and Isaiah Crowell have been abysmal. … Coach Gary Kubiak said he’ll continue to split carries between Ronnie Hillman and C.J. Anderson. … Rookie QB Bryce Petty will get some first-team reps in Jets practice this week with both Ryan Fitzpatrick and Geno Smith nursing injuries. … The Redskins reportedly received no trade inquiries on Robert Griffin III ahead of Tuesday’s deadline. … Alfred Morris and Matt Jones will continue to split work.
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Wide Receiver & Tight End Slants
Andrew Hawkins and Brian Hartline both missed Tuesday’s practice with concussion. Neither will likely play Thursday night against the Bengals. Dwayne Bowe will likely be active and play in three-wide sets. … Chargers released WR/KR Jacoby Jones. … Free agent WR Jarrett Boykin worked out for the Jets on Tuesday. … Saints re-signed WR T.J. Graham. … Larry Donnell is nursing a sore neck. … Nelson Agholor returned to practice Tuesday after missing the past three weeks with an ankle injury. … Calvin Johnson (ankle) didn’t practice Tuesday. The Lions are on their bye week. … DeVante Parker’s newest foot injury allegedly stems from scar tissue.