Safety Ricardo Allen out with injury

When the Cincinnati Bengals signed veteran safety Ricardo Allen in free agency during the 2021 offseason, Allen knew he wouldn’t be a starter on the Bengals.

He still signed with the Bengals, knowing that Cincinnati’s defensive scheme often used three-safety looks. Allen played in 25% of the Bengals defensive snaps in the season opener, but now the Bengals will need to fill his role on the defense.

Allen injured his hamstring and his hand in the Bengals win over the Minnesota Vikings, and Allen will miss at least three weeks.

“The hamstring might not have been a three-week deal, but the hand will be,” head coach Zac Taylor said. “We are hopeful it’s just three weeks and (he will) be able to come back. It gives us time to work the hamstring as well.”

Minnesota Vikings running back Dalvin Cook (33) is pulled down by Cincinnati Bengals strong safety Vonn Bell (24) and free safety Ricardo Allen (37) on a carry in the fourth quarter of the NFL Week One game between the Cincinnati Bengals and the Minnesota Vikings at Paul Brown Stadium in downtown Cincinnati on Sunday, Sept. 12, 2021. The Bengals won 27-24 on a last minute field goal in overtime.

Before he signed with the Bengals, Allen had started in 76 of his 77 NFL games since the Atlanta Falcons drafted him in 2015. Over the previous six seasons, Allen picked up 345 tackles, 26 pass deflections and 11 interceptions.

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Defensive coordinator Lou Anarumo mostly played Allen in passing situations, and Allen picked up three tackles against Minnesota. Anarumo used him as the third safety on the field on Sunday, and the coverage scheme worked in passing situations against the Vikings.

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