Raiders' Allen Has Been a Nice Insurance Policy

Veteran safety has rebounded from injury-plagued 2015 to contribute in a major way to improving defense

In February, the Raiders released safety Nate Allen.

Allen had signed with Oakland for the 2015 season, but the veteran safety had suffered through a disappointing year. Because of knee injuries, he played just five games. So, the release didn’t come as much of a surprise.

Yet, just a few days later, Allen re-signed with the Raiders, giving him a second chance to make an impact with the organization.

Now, with just two games remaining in the season, the Raiders – and Allen – are glad they stayed together.

With top draft choice Karl Joseph recently sidelined by an injury, Allen has been a great insurance policy and third safety.  Over 12 games – including two starts – he’s been in on 18 tackles, has an interception and two passes defensed.

In Sunday’s start versus the Chargers in San Diego, a 19-16 Oakland victory that clinched a playoff spot, Allen played all 55 defensive snaps and had six tackles and a pass defensed as the Raiders held Philip Rivers and the Chargers to just 206 yards passing.

Allen, in his seventh NFL season, is relishing his opportunity to contribute this season after his disappointing first year in the Bay Area.

“We just know what time of the year it is,” Allen told the media, when asked about the Raiders’ defensive performance against a potent passing attack. “This is the time of the year when defenses around the league have to really hone in, and if your defense is getting better and better, and getting to the peak this time of the year, it’s always a good thing, because once you get into the playoffs, the defense is what makes it go.”

Joseph, who has missed the past two games because of a toe injury, has had a strong rookie season. He’s expected to return to the lineup when his injury heals.

The 11-3 Raiders face the 7-7 Colts this Sunday at the Oakland Coliseum. Kickoff is set for 1:05 p.m.

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