Last Thursday's victory over the Cleveland Browns was the very first time in Nate Allen's short career that the safety played in an NFL game in which he did not start. Allen, who has admitted that he's still not quite 100 percent recovered from the torn Patellar tendon he suffered late in his rookie season, watch from the sidelines while Jarrad Page worked with the first-team defense at strong safety.
"It was a little bit (weird)," said Allen following the game, "but you just have to take it for what is is. When you get the opportunity to go in there and make plays, take advantage of it."
Playing for the majority of the second half, Allen registered four tackles and said he felt more confident moving around on the rehabilitated knee. However, Allen also said he experienced soreness in the knee towards the end of the night.
"There's no real say-so when it will feel (better)," Allen said. "That tendinitis is in there and it might be in there the whole season. I don't know. So we'll just play it by ear and see how I feel and keep working day in and day out."
In the mean time, Page is running with the starters alongside Kurt Coleman, another second-year safety. Head coach Andy Reid said the job is still unclaimed.
"They're competing for that spot," Reid said of Allen and Page. "I thought Nate did a nice job (against Cleveland). He actually did better than he did (against Pittsburgh). I think every week here you're going to see him get a little bit better, get his feet under him and continue to improve."
It's an interesting situation for Allen, who has become one of the leaders on defense despite his relative youth. Allen, of course, wants to be on the field as a starter, but he's also mature enough to handle whatever is thrown his way.
"Whatever they want me to do, I'll do it," Allen said. "I'm just going to keep going out there and playing every day and just go out and try to make plays."