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Ricardo Allen injury: Falcons' starting free safety has sprained MCL

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This is very unwelcome news.

Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports

Starting free safety Ricardo Allen briefly left Sunday's game against the Cowboys with a knee injury but did return to the game after a brief respite. After further testing, the Falcons have determined that Allen has a sprained MCL, and that's why he'll be missing this Sunday's game against the Texans, per ESPN's Vaughn McClure.

An MCL sprain is actually a partial tear of the medial collateral ligament, which is the ligament providing joint stability on the inside of the knee. The team is unlikely to reveal whether this is a grade 1 or grade 2 sprain, but since Allen was able to come back into the game after suffering the injury, I think (or more accurately, I hope) a grade 1 injury is likely. That would mean that the tear impacts less than 10% of the ligament. It's also possible that further damage was caused to the ligament after Allen returned to the game, in which case the injury could be more severe. It's very possible that Allen will miss 2-to-4 weeks, though McClure thinks he could miss just 1-2 weeks.

Undrafted free agent Robensen Therezie, a rookie out of Auburn, is the next man up at the free safety position. The coaching staff really likes him, and we'll hope he can hold down the fort while Allen is gone.

Even if he does, this is unwelcome news. Allen has adapted really nicely to his new role. Here's hoping Allen is fully healthy and ready to get back on the field soon.

Your thoughts on Allen's injury?