A major reason why San Diego Chargers (2-6) quarterback Philip Rivers leads the NFL with 2,753 passing yards has been the presence of wide receiver Keenan Allen, who has tarnished opposing defensive backs throughout the early portion of the season.
Now, Rivers will be forced to attempt to continue his surge without Allen, who has been placed on season-ending injured reserve with a lacerated kidney.
Allen, who has garnered the second-most receptions (67), and third-most targets (89) and receiving yards (725) in the league to date, suffered the kidney injury while hauling in a 13-yard touchdown pass as the second quarter wound down in the Chargers 29-26 loss to the Baltimore Ravens this past Sunday.
His 67 catches over the first eight games of the season ties him for third in NFL history over that stretch, behind only Atlanta Falcons wideout Julio Jones' 70 receptions so far this season and former Indianapolis Colts receiver Marvin Harrison's 69 grabs over the first eight contests of the 2002 season.
Allen underwent a procedure to treat the injury immediately following the team's loss to Baltimore, which revealed the laceration. Despite the fact that the normal recovery time for the injury is just six weeks, Chargers head coach Mike McCoy opted to take the conservative route and hold the third-year wideout out for the rest of the season with San Diego essentially out of playoff contention.
The University of California product's performance over the course of 2015 has been rich in outstanding showings, including a 15-catch, 166-yard outing in a Week 1 win against the Detroit Lions, a 12-catch, 133-yard, two-touchdown game in a Week 3 loss to the Minnesota Vikings, and a 14-catch, 157-yard performance in a Week 6 loss to the Green Bay Packers.
Allen garnered four touchdowns over the first eight weeks of the season, pushing his career touchdown reception total to 16. To date, he has caught 215 passes for a total of 2,554 career yards, including a 1,046-yard, eight-touchdown season in his rookie year of 2013.
Two other Chargers, Branden Oliver and Tourek Williams, were also placed on IR Tuesday. As a result, San Diego picked up Javontee Herndon, Greg Ducre, and JD Walton.
Video clip via National Football League.