Thursday was like any other day in this offseason for Eagles safety Nate Allen: He arrived at the NovaCare Complex around 9 a.m. and left late in the afternoon. He spent the bulk of his day rehabbing a patellar tendon injury that prematurely ended his rookie season.
And he wondered what would happen next in the labor talks between the players association and the NFL owners.
"I've made good progress so far. I'm about two months out from surgery and I've just now gotten my full motion back in my knee," said Allen. "I feel good about where I'm at. I'm going to keep rehabbing and get it back right. I've been here five days a week, about seven hours each day. I'm not going to stop. I'm going to get all the way back for this season."
The question is, of course, what happens if there is a work stoppage? The negotiations continue as I write and the tone now is hopeful in the Twitter world that there will be an extension to the current CBA deadline and that come 11:59 p.m. tonight there won't be a melting away of all hope as the two sides work toward an agreement.
For someone like Allen, well, every minute counts. If he is unable to rehab under the care of head athletic trainer Rick Burkholder and his great staff, can he replicate the pace and the intensity of his daily regimen elsewhere?
"That's the goal," said Allen, who has plans to go to IMG in Bradenton, FL to work out and set up a program. "I am going to keep working out and staying in shape. In the back of my mind, yeah, there's a concern. I'm comfortable with what I have been doing and those guys know where I'm supposed to be at because they're talking to my doctor all the time, but I'll be confident with what I'll be doing. I know I will get great care, and I know the people at IMG will talk to Dr. (Peter) DeLuca and measure my progress."
Allen is learning early in his career about the business side of the NFL, for sure. It is an unsettling feeling for everyone to be in this wait-and-see situation. The players want to keep working. The owners want the game to continue in its splendor.
But the talks that are ongoing are held behind closed doors and they are of extreme importance.
This is a valuable lesson for all of the players.
"I've learned that side of the game very quickly," said Allen. "This lockout talk and the possibility of it happening is all about business. It's not personal at all. I know that. There is a lot of money involved and I understand that. You have to take it for what it is and respect that both sides have their cases and they need to meet and figure it out.
"All the players are aware of what's going on. We're just hoping for the best. For me, I've got a lot of work to do. That won't stop, no matter where I'm going to be."