The Jacksonville Jaguars released veteran linebacker Russell Allen last week reportedly after he failed a physical.
Today an article from MMQB writer Robert Klemko details how Allen suffered a stroke on the field in the week 15 game versus the Buffalo Bills.
It went dark on Dec. 15, 2013. Just after halftime in a Week 15 game against the Bills, Allen strafed across the hash marks in pursuit of a ballcarrier before running into center Evan Wood several yards downfield. The two collided face-to-face, dead center from Allen’s perspective, and Allen walked away buzzed as he casually shrugged his shoulders.
Concussions have publicly become a serious issue in the NFL over the past several years. Allen’s experience is one we should highlight as how players should approach situations like this. Allen got his bell rung, didn’t think much of it, and went on to play the rest of the series.
At some point in the second half, however, Allen began having double vision on the sideline.
Allen didn’t know the situation was dire until he went to the emergency room with his medical staff the next day and had an MRI.
Allen was a very good player for the Jaguars over the past few years, and his story is one of the more inspiring in franchise history. Undrafted out of San Diego State in 2009, Allen beat the odds and made the opening roster as a special teams player. He worked his way up and eventually earned a starting linebacker spot, performing admirably as weakside backer for a handful of seasons.
For now, Allen simply plans to buy an NFL Sunday television package to catch Jags games next season… He finds comfort in the support of his now-former teammates, and in the Jaguars’ organization. In his months of worry, the NFL had proven itself the opposite of the cutthroat business he’d heard about and occasionally seen first-hand. The messages from coach Gus Bradley and GM David Caldwell were especially uplifting.
We all wish the best for Allen and for his family in the years to come.
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