Sunday spelled trouble for the Jets secondary, losing Dee Milliner to an ankle sprain and rookie backup Dexter McDougle to a season-ending knee injury. But now Rex Ryan is mixing things up, saying yesterday that safety Antonio Allen will most likely start at corner for the Jets' Saturday night preseason matchup with the Bengals.
Allen was selected in the seventh round of the 2012 draft and has played in 23 games during his first two seasons. The South Carolina product has done well covering tight ends in the slot, but will have to adjust his game to account for the recent injuries.
Ryan moved Allen from first-team safety to first-team corner during Monday's practice, getting him ready to shadow three-time Pro Bowl selection A.J. Green. In defending a receiver who caught 98 passes for 1,426 yards last year, Allen is being thrown into the fire in every sense of the phrase.
"If he can cover that kid, then he can cover them all," Ryan told reporters. "If he can cover that kid, then we know we're in good shape because that guy's about as good as it gets. I think our entire fan base would sleep a lot better."