San Diego Chargers wide receiver Keenan Allen (13) dives in for a touchdown during the first half of an NFL football game against the Giants Sunday.
Chargers wide receiver Keenan Allen is officially in the running for Rookie of the Year.
The selections were announced today, and in Allen's company is linebacker Kiko Alonso (Buffalo Bills); running back Giovani Bernard (Cincinnati Bengals); running back Eddie Lacy (Green Bay Packers); and wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson (Minnesota Vikings).
Allen started 14 games for the Chargers this season and has been instrumental to the team's success. Called up after injuries to veteran wide receivers Malcom Floyd and Danario Alexander, Allen finished the regular season with 1,046 receiving yards, setting the team record for most receiving yards by a rookie in a season. Allen has 71 receptions and eight touchdowns (tied with Eddie Royal for the team lead).
Allen struggled in training camp and has come a long way since, said head coach Mike McCoy.
"He’s done a great job all year long of doing what was asked him to do and getting better," McCoy said. "I think anytime he has success it’s because of the way he’s worked. He’s never been satisfied. He just shows up to work every day and keeps fighting and does a great job."
Allen has been nominated for Rookie of the Week four times this season, the most of any player in his class.
"It would mean a lot to me to win Rookie of the Year," Allen said in an interview earlier this month.
Fans can vote for the honor on the NFL's website. The winner will be announced February 1 at the annual NFL Honors' Award show.