The New York Jets have been ravished with injuries at the cornerback position in the past few days with Dexter McDougle being lost for the season with a torn ACL, and Dee Milliner going down with a high ankle sprain that may keep him out until at least Week 1. So the Jets will now be looking for help at the position. First chance to help the team at cornerback will be safety Antonio Allen. Rex Ryan gave Allen the news on Monday before practice started after the bad day on Sunday with the injuries to McDougle and Milliner.
In college at South Carolina, Allen was a linebacker/safety hybrid, and in his first two seasons with the Jets, has made 23 starts with some good performances. His best performance was against the New England Patriots and their star tight-end Rob Gronkowski. It is a lot to ask from a young player to be making position switches like Allen has been doing, but Ryan seems to think that is worth a shot.
Allen wasted little time impressing the coaching staff quickly by intercepting two passes on his first day at his new position. Ryan announced that Allen will have the difficult task of trying to guard Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver A.J. Green on Saturday night in their second preseason game. Even some of the best cornerbacks in the game have problems guarding Green, so realistically Allen shouldn’t get discouraged if he has a tough time in his first game at the new position, especially against a receiver like Green.
One thing that Allen does provide is that he is surely a playmaker on defense, as shown against the Patriots, and from his time at college with the Gamecocks. In this particular situation however, Allen is not only being asked to switch positions, he’s being asked to be the number-one corner for the time being, neither of which is an easy task for the 25-year-old.