Strong safety Nate Allen has not even completed his third season in the NFL, but he's already endured some of the highs and the lows that the game can bring. With head coach Andy Reid announcing on Wednesday that Colt Anderson and Kurt Coleman will start at the two safety positions, Allen looks at this development as simply another obstacle that he must overcome.
"That's the game of football," said Allen, who had started in 13 of this year's games. "There's going to be ups and downs. You've just got to respond, stay positive, contribute and help the team out any way you can."
Allen was the team's second-round pick in 2010 and had a rookie season that offered a taste of what he could bring to the table. Allen earned NFL Defensive Rookie of the Month honors in September and finished the year with 59 tackles, three interceptions and 2.0 sacks. However, Allen also concluded the year on Injured Reserve after rupturing the patellar tendon in his knee.
He returned to action in 2011 starting in 12 of the 15 games that he played in. Allen wasn't all the way back from a physical standpoint, but still contributed 76 tackles and a pair of interceptions. Fully healthy entering 2012, Allen had a tremendous game in Week 2 vs. Baltimore as he led the Eagles with 11 tackles. In fact, Allen has a career-high 81 tackles on the year.
Allen started all season alongside Kurt Coleman, a seventh-round pick in that same 2010 NFL Draft. Coleman missed the last two games with a chest injury and was replaced in the lineup by Colt Anderson, who had 19 tackles in Coleman's place. Reid decided to go with Anderson and Coleman, who has yet to play behind the revamped defensive line.
"Colt's been playing well. That's just the best fit for right now," Allen said. "You've got to be a professional about it and just go out there and continue to work and contribute and help the team out however you can."
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