Nate Allen signed with the Raiders this offseason on a lucrative 4-year deal to come in and be the team's new starting free safety. And not even a full game into his Raiders career, he went down with an injury and was placed on injured reserve with designation to return.
That designation stipulates that the player can return to action after eight weeks, which would have him eligible to play week 10 when the Raiders face the Minnesota Vikings. It also states that he is eligible to return to practice after six weeks. That time has come.
"Nate [Allen], we were able to get him activated this week," Reggie McKenzie said Tuesday. "We'll see how he's going, see if he can come along."
The Raiders now have a 21 day window, by the end of which they must either put Allen on the active roster or shut him down for the remainder of the season. But from the looks of things, Allen is currently on schedule to make his return to the lineup when the Raiders face the Vikings on November 15.
"It's good for us," Jack Del Rio said of Allen's return. "He was playing well prior to getting banged up. And fortunately for him and for us it was not an injury that will put him down for the year. We're gonna get him back. This is the beginning of that process where he's going from the rehab phase to now joining the team in practice."
"He's worked extremely hard. He's done everything we've asked and he's excited to join his teammates."
In Allen's absence, TJ Carrie has been filling in at safety. Del Rio would not divulge exactly how the secondary would look once Allen is back in the mix, saying only that it is "fluid" and "We're open minded."
What is expected when Allen returns, is for Carrie to move back to his starting cornerback spot. Though it is uncertain which of the current starting cornerbacks would move to the nickel spot, it would appear DJ Hayden is better suited for that job than David Amerson. The Raiders have a few weeks yet to make that decision.