Will Allen Reportedly Done for Season
Allen left Miami's 46-34 loss midway through the third quarter. He limped to the locker room, then returned to the sideline with a brace on his knee.
"Obviously, to lose Will in that situation. It's a close ball game; I thought Will was playing pretty well at the time," Miami head coach Tony Sparano said.
Allen, Miami's top cornerback, has missed just one game since coming to the Dolphins prior to the 2006 season, and just nine games total during a nine-year career that included a stay with the Giants. Sunday marked Allen's 43rd consecutive start -- a streak that will come to an end next week when Miami visits the Jets, if the early indications are accurate.
The Dolphins, after an 0-3 start to the season, looked to have turned a corner with back-to-back wins and a dominating start against the Saints. But New Orleans erased Miami's 21-point, first-half lead with an impressive barrage, putting up 36 points after halftime for a 46-34 win. The loss dropped Miami to 2-4 overall and into last place in the AFC East with road trips to New York and New England looming.
Getting back in the playoff hunt was a daunting enough task for the Dolphins before Allen's injury.
Assuming the Herald's report is correct, the Dolphins will likely be forced to slide rookie Vontae Davis into the starting lineup to replace Allen. That means that Miami will be starting rookies at both cornerback spots -- Sean Smith, Miami's second-round pick last April, earned the other job out of camp.
Miami coughed up 276 passing yards to Drew Brees Sunday, but also picked off three passes.
Jason Allen and Nate Jones, both veteran backups, will continue to fill the gaps behind Davis and Smith, but no one in that group can match Will Allen's experience or ability -- at least not yet. Davis and Smith are both promising, but a team with two rookie starters at cornerback can expect to be picked on plenty in the passing game.