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Despite suffering an AC joint sprain in his left shoulder, wide receiver Keenan Allen told reporters on Thursday that he expects to play in the Los Angeles Chargers’ upcoming matchup with the Green Bay Packers.
“I’ll be out there again,” Allen said, according to ESPN’s Kris Rhim.
He sustained the injury during the fourth quarter of the Chargers’ loss to the Detroit Lions in Week 10. Allen entered Los Angeles’ locker room, although he returned to the field before the end of regulation.
With injuries to fellow Chargers receivers Mike Williams and Joshua Palmer, the 31-year-old has remained Justin Herbert’s top target in the passing game. Allen has recorded 895 yards on a league-leading 73 catches in 2023, scoring six touchdowns in the process.
He appears to be heading towards the sixth Pro Bowl appearance of his career.
Allen wasn’t able to suit up during the Chargers’ practice on Wednesday, although he was a limited participant on Thursday before announcing his intention to play in Week 11.
He’s been a crucial part of Los Angeles’ passing attack for years, as head coach Brandon Staley was in awe of his longevity when speaking to reporters.
“He’s such a smart player. You can do so much with him. That’s why you see the production,” Staley said, per Rhim. “… Being here for three years, I think I’ve had a deeper appreciation for him every year I’ve been the coach.”
Despite injuries to several of the Chargers’ aforementioned key receivers, Los Angeles still owns the eighth-ranked passing offense in the NFL. While Herbert’s strong play is worthy of recognition, Allen’s ability to produce despite receiving extra attention from opposing defenses has helped the team remain in the AFC playoff picture.
The Chargers will travel to Lambeau Field on Sunday as they face off against the Packers, with kickoff at 1 p.m. ET.