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Chargers' Keenan Allen voted NFL comeback player of the year

Chargers' Keenan Allen voted NFL comeback player of the year
Chargers receiver Keenan Allen catches a fumbled ball from teammate Melvin Gordon and runs it into the endzone for a first quarter touchdown on Dec. 31, 2017. (Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)

Chargers receiver Keenan Allen, who bounced back from an injury plagued 2016 to finish third in the league with 1,393 yards on 102 receptions this season, has been selected 2017 NFL comeback player of the year in voting conducted by the Professional Football Writers of America.

Allen missed the second half of the 2015 season after suffering a lacerated kidney and virtually all of 2016 after tearing a knee ligament in the season opener.

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But he played in all 16 games this season and set a franchise record for receptions. His receiving yards were the second-most in team history. The 6-foot-2, 211-pound Allen, known as one of the league's most precise route runners, had seven 100-yard games and scored six touchdowns.

During a torrid three-game stretch against Buffalo, Dallas and Cleveland from Nov. 19 to Dec. 3, Allen became the first player in NFL history to post three straight games with at least 10 catches, 100 receiving yards and a touchdown. He also led the NFL in third-down receptions (36) and third-down receiving yards (552).

"The way he worked in the offseason was really impressive," Chargers general manager Tom Telesco said earlier this month. "He was on a mission to get back, and once he got back, he was just determined to show what he can do.

"There are obviously other receivers in the league who are great route runners. I don't know if anybody is better than Keenan. He has a natural feel for the game that I think he's just born with. He's got a great rapport with our quarterback [Philip Rivers], too. He was a tough cover for a lot of people this year."

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