The Redskins received some positive injury news on Monday, as defensive lineman Jonathan Allen participated in some light conditioning drills for the first time since injuring his foot.
While the Redskins initially thought defensive lineman Jonathan Allen's foot injury might be season-ending, they received some positive developments on Monday afternoon. The first-round draft pick participated in some light workouts for the first time since being placed on Injured Reserve in mid-October.
Allen received surgery for his Lisfranc injury, suffered against the 49ers, and began walking without a boot just recently. He's eligible to return to practice next week and return to the team for its final three games starting on Dec. 17, when the Redskins host the Cardinals.
"He's coming along good," head coach Jay Gruden said. "Hopefully he'll be ready to go."
The Alabama product has been in rehab staying off his feet, working on strengthening his legs helping to break down the scar tissue. He went through some cone drills Monday and did some light jogging, not reporting any pain afterwards. Allen said he was optimistic about the process but is taking it slow.
"Right now, for me, it's just based on how I feel," Allen said. "The better it starts to feel, the more comfortable I start to get with it, the more I can start to do with it."
Until his injury, Allen had played a crucial role along the defensive line, which improved greatly since last year with blend of youth and veteran leadership. Allen primarily played in nickel packages and did well in creating pressure alongside Matt Ioannidis.
Allen collected 10 tackles and one sack but helped produce many more by collapsing the pocket and taking away running lanes for quarterbacks. According to Pro Football Focus, Allen produced three sacks, three hits and 10 hurries on 106 pass-rushing snaps, which ranked fifth among 107 interior linemen.
The defense suffered other injuries, namely Matt Ioannidis along the defensive line, along with inside linebackers Will Compton and Martrell Spaight, which has challenged their depth. In five games with Allen, the Redskins defense ranked 12th in total yards and now ranks 20th (346 yards) since losing him.
"He's one of those guys that's very good against the run and then you throw him in on third down and he's a good pass rusher," Gruden said of Allen. "We have missed him, but guys have stepped up in his place. Stacy McGee is starting to step up his game. Ziggy [Hood] has played more minutes and done a great job and [Anthony] Lanier's stepped in and done a nice job."
As the Redskins try to make a late-season push for the playoffs, Allen's presence could be impactful along the line's rotation. Gruden said he has no problem playing Allen Week 15 if he's ready for it.
"First and foremost, we want to make sure he's 100 percent," Gruden said. "Once we feel like he's in a position where he can play and play effectively, then we'll play him. I mean, he's too good of a player."