Allen isn't in uniform for Thursday's Hall of Fame Game against the Bears, freelance NFL writer Jeff Zrebiec reports.
Lead runner Alex Collins and Kenneth Dixon (hamstring) also are sitting out, leaving the backfield to UDFAs Gus Edwards, Mark Thompson and De'Lance Turner. Once the first-team offense gets extended run during the preseason, expect Allen to work behind Collins while Dixon continues to recover from a hamstring injury.
While Collins' perch atop the team's projected depth chart appears solid, Allen could face a challenge for the No. 2 slot, with 2016 fourth-rounder Kenneth Dixon now healthy and poised to rejoin the Baltimore backfield. Allen's pass-catching ability increases his profile in PPR formats, but with Dixon back in the mix, Allen's path to added carries in the event of an injury to Collins is less clear. As a result, Allen's standing as the Ravens' perceived No. 2 back is deceptive, a notion supported by his average draft position, which is currently lower than Dixon's.
Allen needs to fend off competition from Kenneth Dixon, NFL.com's Michael Fabiano reports.
Reliable on passing downs but subpar as a runner, Allen is essentially the opposite of incumbent lead back Alex Collins. The wild card in the equation is Dixon, a 2016 fourth-round pick who came on strong in the second half of his rookie season but then missed all of 2017 with a torn meniscus, the second significant knee injury of his young career. Allen and Dixon will compete for the No. 2 spot on the depth chart, though it's possible the latter could spell Collins on early downs while the former has a regular role on passing downs. There's also a decent chance the Ravens end up keeping an undrafted rookie in the backfield, as they don't have any veterans or draft picks beyond the aforementioned trio.
Allen finished the season with 153 carries for 591 yards and four touchdowns to go with 46 catches for 250 yards on 60 targets.
Considering that Allen was a healthy scratch for the final five games of the 2016 season, 2017 was a resurgent year for the USC product. It took developments like injuries to Kenneth Dixon, Danny Woodhead and Terrance West for Allen to get his shot again, but he performed ably when called upon. Alex Collins clearly took over the No. 1 role and eventually started seeing some passing-down snaps, but Allen still had a prominent role -- especially in the first half of the season. Looking ahead to 2018, it's difficult to bet on so many things falling in Allen's favor again. Dixon is primed to return, Collins has the starting role all but locked up, and Woodhead remains under contract. The 2018 season will be Allen's contract year, but it's difficult to imagine him seeing the same role he did in 2017.
Allen had eight carries for 37 yards Saturday against the Colts and added a 10-yard reception in the contest.
Allen's workload was scaled back to an extent Saturday, but he was still effective with the opportunities he did get. He averaged 4.6 yards per carry, bumping his season average up to 3.7. Allen tends to see extended work in games where the Ravens seize control, so with Baltimore checking in as heavy home favorites against the Bengals in Week 17, he could see a workload similar to what he received against the Browns in Week 15.
|4||9/30/18||@ PIT||8:20 pm|
|5||10/7/18||@ CLE||1:00 pm|
|6||10/14/18||@ TEN||4:25 pm|
|8||10/28/18||@ CAR||1:00 pm|
|Bye: Week 10|
|13||12/2/18||@ ATL||1:00 pm|
|14||12/9/18||@ KC||1:00 pm|
|Year||Team||G||No.||Yds||Lg||Avg||Blk||I20||TB||Downed||No||Ret Yds||TD||Net Avg|
|Year||Team||G||Fum||Lost||Fum Forced||Own Rec||Opp Rec||Yds||Tot Rec||TD|