Under normal circumstances, Redskins defensive lineman Jonathan Allen would be in the middle of Organized Team Activities (OTAs) right now.
But these aren't normal circumstances. The novel coronavirus pandemic has indefinitely halted all in-person football activities, leaving Allen and the rest of his teammates with just a virtual offseason program to stay afloat.
Allen is doing everything he can to stay in shape. He's worked out every morning before the Redskins hold their daily Zoom meetings at noon. The defensive lineman spoke to local reporters on a Zoom call while he was driving to the golf course on Wednesday, as Allen has used the sport as a way to keep busy during quarantine.
"I’ve been trying to do anything just to stay active and stay fit," Allen said. "I mean I work out every day, but it gets pretty boring.
"I get done with workouts by 12 o’clock, and we have meetings from 12-2, so from 2 o’clock on I’m literally doing nothing," he continued. "Just trying to do something to get out of the house and keep my mind sharp and just not get so bored, because there’s really nothing to do out here."
While the global pandemic has prevented normal offseason activities, Allen is still trying to use this time to his advantage. The defensive lineman has been focusing on small things and little details during quarantine that he hopes will give him an edge over his opponents when it's time to return to the field.
"I’m doing everything I can to eat right, sleep better this offseason, just do everything I can to make sure I’m in the best possible shape," Allen said. "And really just try to use quarantine as an opportunity for me to get ahead of the game and get ahead of my competition a little bit with how hard I’m training."
Since joining Washington in 2017, Allen has emerged as one of the team's leaders, both vocally and with his play. He was named a team captain in 2019 and finished with a career-high in tackles (68) a season ago.
The Redskins have undergone significant organizational changes this offseason, most notably hiring head coach Ron Rivera and drafting talented pass rusher Chase Young second overall. Allen has had the chance to meet both of them and is excited about what they'll bring towards the organization moving forward.
During the Redskins virtual draft party, Allen even admitted that there's a newfound optimism around the organization due to the changes.
Allen said he doesn't know when football activities will resume, but did express that he believes there will be a season. Until that time comes, Allen will continue to train as hard as he can in order to be in the best possible shape come football's return.
"I’m just trying to take this as an opportunity to get ahead of my competition in any way I can," he said. "And make sure that I ramp up my training and make sure this is the best offseason of training that I’ve ever had, that way I’m in that much better shape come training camp. That’ll just help me play that much better this upcoming season."
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