Barring injury, it would have been difficult to project Dwayne Allen going catchless through the first month of the season when the New England Patriots acquired him from the Indianapolis Colts over the offseason.
Allen arrived in New England with much fanfare as the Patriots sent a fourth-round pick to Indianpolis for the tight end and a sixth-round pick. Some looked at the trade as a potential steal for the Patriots, who appeared to be acquiring a starting-caliber tight end to replace Martellus Bennett as New England’s No. 2 behind Rob Gronkowski.
It hasn’t appeared to have gone as planned as Allen has no catches on six targets despite playing all five games. He wasn’t targeted in Week 5 even though Gronkowski was inactive with a thigh injury. Allen played 50 snaps in the Patriots’ 19-14 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels said the lack of receptions isn’t tied to difficulty adjusting to the Patriots’ offense.
“I think, in many ways, that?s just how the game has gone, how the game plan has meshed with something that the defense may have done,” McDaniels said Monday on a conference call. “Dwayne?s learning and adapting to our system and what we do each week. He?s only played five games in our offense and continuing to work hard to try to get better. I would say he?s not the only one that?s in that situation.
“There?s a lot of guys that I would say you?d put in that same group, and they?re still learning and processing how we do things and what we do. Again, there?s a lot of circumstances and variables in each game, in each play that determine where the ball will go or won?t go. I would say that?s more of a function of what the defense chooses to do against our scheme. Hopefully, we?re trying to do the best thing with the ball each play. But, no, I wouldn?t say that?s the case. We?re working hard, and he?s working hard, and we?re trying to get better.”
Allen caught 35 passes on 52 targets for 406 yards with six touchdowns last season with the Colts. He has 126 career receptions for 1,451 yards with 19 touchdowns.
Patriots No. 3 tight end Jacob Hollister has two catches on five targets for 24 yards while Gronkowski has 20 catches on 30 targets for 318 yards with two touchdowns. Even fullback James Develin has three catches on four targets for 20 yards.
Thumbnail photo via Zack Cox/NESN.com