Colts TE Dwayne Allen To Undergo Season-Ending Hip Surgery
By Corbin Smith
Less than a week after losing starting RB Vick Ballard to a torn right ACL injury, the Indianapolis Colts suffered another major loss today as the team announced that TE Dwayne Allen will undergo season-ending hip surgery.
NFL Network's Michelle Beisner originally reported the story through twitter, and the hits keep coming for Chuck Pagano's squad. Ballard and Allen both came to Indianapolis last year in one of the team's best draft classes ever, but with both players now out for the rest of the season, depth will be seriously tested on this team. Dominique Jones will now see action as the team's second tight end, which could be an even greater drop off than moving from Ballard to Ahmad Bradshaw and Donald Brown in the backfield.
When Pep Hamilton arrived from Stanford this spring, many anticipated a strong breakout season from Allen in an offensive scheme that favors using tight ends as receivers. A great athlete and superior blocker to fellow TE Coby Fleener, he was expected to play a huge role in the passing game as well as opening holes in the run game. Now, that plan has to be put on the backburner until next season.
Allen originally suffered the injury during the third quarter against Oakland in Week 1, and the team initially believed the injury wasn't that serious. However, his condition continued to deteriorate throughout the week, and he ended up missing last week's game against the Miami Dolphins. Fleener played well last week against Miami, but he's nowhere near as versatile as Allen, and this loss will be tough for Indianapolis to overcome. In his morning press conference, Pagano said replacing Allen's "inline blocking" will be the toughest task moving forward.
Hamilton wants to have a balanced offense, but these injuries could make that near impossible to accomplish. San Francisco and Seattle are both on the upcoming schedule, and being one-dimensional will create major problems against two of the league's premier defenses. Andrew Luck will surely have to carry an even greater burden as his comrades continue to drop like flies around him.
Jim Irsay will need to make some moves to shore up positions inflicted by injuries, or things could get out of hand over the course of the next few weeks.