Running back Lorenzo Taliaferro’s knee injury opens the door for rookie fourth-round NFL draft pick Javorius Allen, who understands the opportunity at hand. “Times like this are when you prove yourself,” Allen said following Tuesday’s practice. “Can you step in and be that guy and provide for your team and have your team believe in you?” The early returns for Allen have been uneven. In two preseason games, he’s rushed 17 times for 54 yards (3.2 yards per carry) and caught two passes for 25 yards. However, running backs coach Thomas Hammock and offensive coordinator Marc Trestman indicated this week that Allen has made definite strides. “Buck continues to improve," Trestman said. “He’s shown us that he can run and make plays and be physical and drop his pads and finish with his feet. We’ve seen that. We just want to continue to see him grow and get better at all the little things that he’s doing.”
One area that Allen is working to improve on is blitz pickup. The former USC standout acknowledged there’s a big difference between doing it at the college and pro levels. This is something that tends to limit a lot of young backs in the NFL.