2017 was a rollercoaster for Beau Allen. After a career year in 2016, the former Wisconsin Badger seemed primed to secure his long-term future with the team. A valuable piece to the Eagles defensive tackle rotation, Allen would be entering his contract year with the team and it didn’t take long for contract extension rumors to swirl.
Report after report surfaced but then the unthinkable happened. During an offseason workout, Beau Allen tore his pectoral muscle, keeping him sidelined for the majority of the offseason. Returning just in time for the preseason finale, the odds seemed to be stacked against Allen.
While the former 7th round pick was rehabbing, newly drafted rookie DT Elijah Qualls was busy trying to build enough momentum to take over Allen’s role alongside Destiny Vaeao as the 3rd/4th option in the trenches. To make life even more troublesome for the returning Allen, both Gabe Wright and Justin Hamilton threw their hats into the mix as well with hopes of achieving the same.
If we fast forward six months however, Allen has defied the odds again. Playing in 40.9% of snaps this year, Allen has amassed a further 20 tackles and a sack, proving yet again to be a crucial cog in the Eagles defensive tackle rotation. Not only that, but Allen achieved his first ever playoff victory on Saturday with a win over the Falcons.
“Beau is a good, consistent player for us.” Jim Schwartz told reporters on Tuesday afternoon. “Did a great job playing the run. We wanted to be a little push in the pocket down in the red zone that last series. He was on the field, had a really good pass-rush move on one and did a great job on that screen play, that little shovel screen.
Beau’s played a lot of football for us in a lot of big games. We decided to go with three defensive tackles. We’ve had that situation before when we’ve had injuries, so it’s nothing new to us. But it was the first time that we’ve had healthy de-acts. There’s a lot of other things that go into games and special teams players and things like that, with an eye toward Fletch playing a lot more snaps, that was the best way to use our resources. Beau has done a nice job for us, including this last game.”
Howie Roseman spoke about his project pass-rusher back at the NFL combine earlier this year, amidst the reported negotiations.
“We’re excited about Beau.” Roseman said. “Both in his ability to be powerful in the run game and also his athleticism to work the edges. He has pass rush moves and with an increased opportunity, we think he will be an even better player for our team.”
The Eagles may now be flooded with depth. Elijah Qualls has been the go-to option for most of the year while Destiny Vaeao has also battled injury. The starters are cemented for years to come and although the team could look to the Draft for some extra re-enforcements, they have a reliable pass-rusher right under their nose.
The future may still be uncertain for Allen, but to bounce back from such a damaging injury in the way he has, playing in even more snaps than he did one year ago, is beyond impressive. Allen has been the backbones of the defensive tackle dominance this season and it would behoove the Birds to ponder an extension once again.
Mandatory Credit: James Lang-USA TODAY Sports