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Olympic hurdler Devon Allen cut from Philadelphia Eagles roster

The summer just went from bad to worse for the 2021 Diamond League champion

devon allen Photo by: Kevin Morris

It has been a summer to forget for American champion hurdler Devon Allen. A dual-sport athlete, Allen balances separate careers as a track star and professional football player. Unfortunately, both of these endeavours have taken tough hits in the past couple of months. At the 2022 World Athletics Championships in Eugene, Oregon, in July, Allen was disqualified in the 110m hurdle final, and on Tuesday, he was cut from the NFL’s Philadelphia Eagles. 

 

In 2021, Allen had an incredible season on the track. He won multiple races and charged to a fourth-place finish in the 110mH at the Tokyo Olympics, which marked his second appearance at the Games (he finished fifth in 2016). In April of this year, things got even better as he signed a three-year deal with the Eagles. (Allen was a wide receiver at the University of Oregon, where he also ran track, but hadn’t returned to the field since his final year of college in 2016.) 

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Just a few months after signing with the Eagles, Allen ran a world-leading PB of 12.84 seconds, and looked poised to medal at the world championships, which were being held at his alma mater in Oregon. He flew through the heats and semi-finals at Eugene’s Hayward Field, but when he got to the final, he was called for a false start and subsequently disqualified. Grant Holloway, Allen’s compatriot, proceeded to take the gold in 13.03. 

There was a lot of controversy surrounding Allen’s DQ, as he left the blocks just a single thousandth of a second too soon (a difference undetectable to the naked eye). The starting blocks are equipped with electronic sensors to monitor each runner’s reaction time; the minimum allowable reaction time is 0.1 seconds, and Allen’s posted time was 0.099. It was the smallest of margins to ruin a star athlete’s dreams of a gold medal on home soil, but the officials had no choice but to accept the information provided by the sensors and disqualify Allen. 

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Now, just a month after that crushing blow, Allen has been cut from Philadelphia’s 53-man roster. He spent the previous month at the team’s training camp, which included a game against the Cleveland Browns in which Allen caught a 55-yard touchdown. His pre-season performances weren’t enough to earn him an official spot on the roster, though, and he will have to hope to be given a spot on Philadelphia’s practice squad.