When it comes to discussing elite talent at wide receiver in the NFL, there is no doubt that Los Angeles Chargers wideout Keenan Allen belongs in each and every discussion on the topic.
As obvious as it is that Allen can be a star in this league, though, is the fact that he has trouble staying healthy. Whether it be bad luck or some other uncontrollable factor, the former Cal Bear missed all but one game in 2016 after playing in only eight games during the 2015 campaign.
Additionally, the fifth-year pro fell to the third round of the 2013 NFL Draft due to teams having concerns about a knee ailment which saw him miss time during his final year of college.
But don’t let all of that fool you into thinking he might not have been worth drafting.
When healthy, the soon-to-be 25-year-old is one of the best route runners in the entire NFL, possessing great size, hands and above-average speed.
None of this is lost on the youngster, and neither is his confidence despite having a tough time staying on the field thus far throughout his career.
“I’m just trying to be the best,” Allen told the team’s official website. “I’m trying to come back and get right back to where I left off. I’m trying to be top five (in the league) or whatever it is. I’m just trying to be the best.”
In the same interview, No. 13 went on to reassure fans that he is feeling great, but also mentioned how difficult it was to have to watch his teammates go out there and compete without him.
“I feel amazing. I’m trying to keep up with Tyrell (Williams) because he keeps pushing the pace,” Allen continued. “I’m trying to keep up with the guys and stay with it. I’m feeling good….The toughest part (last year) was just watching them play every Sunday and not being able to do a thing about it. It was tough. I love being on the field. I love making plays. So just to get back out there with them is going to be fun.”
Keenan Allen has the playmaking ability to be a top-five wide receiver in the NFL. But none of that ability matters unless he can find a way to avoid injury bug.
Like most players in professional sports, your best ability is your availability, Keenan. Now, go out there, find a way to stay healthy and prosper, young fella.
In 38 games played, the acrobatic Allen has tallied 221 receptions for 2,617 yards and 16 touchdowns.