The Kansas City Chiefs have added a familiar face to their offensive line group, signing former second-round draft pick Jeff Allen to a free agent deal. The news was first reported Tuesday morning by Mike Garafolo of NFL Media, then the Chiefs made the official announcement late Tuesday afternoon. Safety Leon McQuay was waived in order to clear a roster spot.
Allen, 28, was picked in the second round by the Chiefs 2012 out of the University of Illinois, where he started 47 games as an offensive tackle. He played in all 16 games as a rookie, starting 13, then started 14 of 15 games in 2013 before missing all but one game in 2014 due to an elbow injury that required season-ending surgery.
Allen (6-4, 300) played in 12 games in 2015, starting eight, then left the Chiefs during the 2016 offseason for a four-year, $28 million free agent deal with the Houston Texans. He started 26 games the past two seasons but dealt with ankle and concussion issues in 2017, then earlier this year was released from the reserve/physically unable to perform list with a reported injury settlement of over $950,000.
The Chiefs are currently short-handed up front on offense due to a concussion suffered by Mitch Morse during Sunday’s loss at New England as well as a possible season-ending fibula fracture to right guard Laurent Duvernay-Tardif, which occurred in the Week 5 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars. Duvernay-Tardif was placed on injured reserve last week and in eight weeks will be eligible to become one of Kansas City’s two allowed players designated to return, although Chiefs Vice President of Sports Medicine and Performance Rick Burkholder announced last Wednesday the injury was worse than expected and left Duvernay-Tardif’s status for the rest of the season in doubt.
“We told you after the game he has a fractured fibula,” Burkholder said. “He does, but after we reviewed the film and got the exam the next day he had some ankle pain. So we did an MRI and he has what’s known as a Maisonneuve injury… Basically what happens there is his ankle gets externally rotated, the force tears ligaments in his ankle, runs up the leg and it breaks his fibula. So he’s going to have that repaired by Dr. Bob Anderson in Green Bay, Wisconsin on Monday. We’ll know more after the surgery how much time he’ll miss.”
The Chiefs started veteran Jordan Devey in Duvernay-Tardif’s place against New England in Week 6, then moved Devey to center when Mitch Morse left the game and replaced Devey with Andrew Wylie at right guard. With the Chiefs currently stable at the tackle spots with Eric Fisher and Mitchell Schwartz and at left guard with Cameron Erving, it’s likely Allen would be looked at to help at center or right guard if he is signed, although he’s capable of helping at any spot across the line. Allen played at both guard and tackle spots during his time in Kansas City and played guard and left tackle for Houston last season.
McQuay, who was a sixth-round pick of the Chiefs in 2017 out of USC, was promoted from the practice squad to the active roster last week when wide receiver De’Anthony Thomas was placed on injured reserve. McQuay provided extra depth for the Chiefs against the New England Patriots Sunday night with Eric Murray out due to an ankle injury.