Jonathan Allen is running again.

That, alone, is enough to keep the defensive end smiling through the Washington Redskins’ offseason workouts.

‘I was starting to get a footing in the NFL and I just had it taken away from me’

As a rookie last year, Allen found himself in the extremely uncomfortable role of spectator as he dealt with the season-ending Lisfranc injury he suffered in Week 6 against San Francisco.

“For me, last year was probably one of the hardest things I’ve ever experienced as a football player,” Allen told Mike Dempsey and Brad Hopkins on Late Hits. “In the past, I’ve had a shoulder injury, but it’s never been in-season, I never missed time. Coming into my rookie year, I felt, at Week 6 when I got hurt, I was just starting to hit a groove. I was just starting to string together a couple games. I was starting to get a footing in the NFL and I just had it taken away from me.”

‘I can’t tell you how good it was just to run for the first time’

After undergoing surgery, Allen, who joined the Redskins as a first-round draft pick from Alabama, went through the dreary process of watching the Redskins play without him through their final 10 games.

“It makes you really appreciate how important football is to you,” he said. “So being back here, I can’t tell you how good it was just to run for the first time, to just be out there with my team and just be in the huddle. It’s a feeling you just can’t describe unless you’ve been through it or you’ve been out there.

‘This is one of those things (where) you’ve got to get back to trusting your foot’

“Health-wise, I do feel like I’m a hundred percent. Am I in the same exact spot I was last year? No. I’m definitely getting more comfortable on my foot. And most of it right now is more mental for me. Physically, I’m a hundred-percent fine, I’m cleared, I’m playing. This is one of those things (where) you’ve got to get back to trusting your foot.”

As Allen explained, his form of Lisfranc injury wasn’t as severe as others.

‘I’m truly blessed to only injure my top ligament, because if was a bottom or side ligament, that’s something that an affect you for your career’

“(With a Lisfranc) there are three ligaments: the top, side and the bottom. I only tore my top one, which was a one-millimeter gap, so the very least of what you can do to a Lisfranc,” he said. “(With) other guys, it’s a full year (recovery). You wouldn’t even be practicing right now, so I’m out there with the team, running, practicing. I have no limits on what I can do and I feel great to be out there. So I’m truly blessed to only injure my top ligament, because if was a bottom or side ligament, that’s something that an affect you for your career.”

Besides his ability to participate, another highlight of offseason workouts for Allen is watching the team’s new quarterback, Alex Smith, in action.

‘I genuinely think if we stay healthy across the board as a team I don’t see why we can’t be the dark horse’

“I think he looks amazing,” Allen said. “Only being my second year in the league, I’ve only played with the two quarterbacks, (but) Alex Smith is the real deal. Just from a presence standpoint, from how he commands the offense, after two weeks of being with the guy, I genuinely think if we stay healthy across the board as a team I don’t see why we can’t be the dark horse.”

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