But his fairytale season didn’t begin in like manner.
Buried on the Chargers’ depth chart, Allen spent the preseason working behind the veteran receivers. He’d get his reps, but it wasn’t enough. He wanted to start. And didn’t.
This led to an emotional phone call with his mother.
“‘I need help. I’m losing. I’m about to quit,'” Allen recalled to the Union-Tribune San Diego. “(I wasn’t) living up to my expectations of starting. I’ve never been a role player-type guy. Not easy at all. … I’ve never had to do it before. I never had to adjust.”
Allen’s mom convinced her son to keep the faith, which he did. But when he saw zero offensive snaps in Week 1, the thoughts of quitting once again crept into his mind — this time two-fold.
“After I didn’t play after that first game, I was about another snap away of not playing from quitting,” Allen said.
Allen admitted he didn’t know how he’d break the news to the team, who used a third-round selection on the former Cal product. If not football, Allen says he would’ve pursued a career as a music producer.
Fortunately, he got his break in Week 2, when San Diego receivers Malcom Floyd and Denario Alexander were lost for the season to injuries.
Since that point, Allen has become Philip Rivers‘ top target, racking up a team-leading 957 receiving yards and eight touchdowns.
“It’s crazy,” Allen said. “I came a long way.”
(Photo credit: Jeff Gross/Getty Images)