Oakland Raiders expect Nate Allen to return for Week 10


Safety Nate Allen was the Oakland Raiders lone signing made this offseason to bolster what was perceived as one of their biggest needs in pass coverage. General manager Reggie McKenzie giving Allen a hefty short-term deal to come to the Raiders from the Philadelphia Eagles as the starting safety alongside the legendary Charles Woodson.

Those plans for Allen and Woodson to be the anchor of the Raiders defense at safety were quickly derailed as Allen suffered a knee injury during Week 1 against the Cincinnati Bengals. The team fearing the worst as it was initially thought that their free agent acquisition could have suffered a dreaded ACL tear in the season opener.

Luckily for the Raiders, Allen was found to have an MCL tear, a far less serious injury that put him on the IR-designated to return list and back around the practice field this week as the safety is beginning his slow process to returning to action. A process that could come in mid-November if the Raiders are lucky and everything goes according to plan regarding Allen’s rehab process.

Allen was back at the Raiders Alameda headquarters for practice on Wednesday, with the word being that Week 10 against the Minnesota Vikings is the target date for him to come back to the fold. The exact date in which Allen is allowed to play for the team after being placed on the designated to return injured reserve, a promising piece of news for the team as they push towards the Wild Card race.

Allen’s return would be a major boost to the team’s pass coverage not just with Allen’s talent at safety, but in terms of depth at cornerback as TJ Carrie has been filling in for Allen with a position change for much of the season. If Carrie returns to the corner and Allen can produce at safety the Raiders league worst pass defense (in terms of yards allowed) would get the help they need. A healthy Allen could be the push the Raiders need to become a Wild Card contender, so expect his rehab to take plenty of focus in the coming weeks.

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