Ryan Allen injury: Patriots punter, placeholder hurts shoulder vs. Colts

Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Bill Belichick may be without a crucial special teams player for the final 30 minutes in Foxboro, as Ryan Allen is questionable to return.

The Patriots took a 9-point lead over the Colts into the half on Saturday, but they may now be without their punter, and placeholder, the rest of the way following a disastrous special teams sequence.

Ryan Allen, New England's rookie punter from Louisiana Tech, left the field before the end of the half, forcing placekicker Stephen Gostkowski to boot the Pats final punt of the half. He is questionable to return.

It's likely Allen was injured in the scrum on the Patriots' prior punt, a failed attempt after the snap went well over his head and he was pasted near the goal-line by a cadre of pursuing Colts:

Patspunter

That play resulted in a safety, and Allen was brought out to punt it away to the Colts from the 20. As soon as he punted it, however, he grabbed his shoulder in pain and walked off the field. It was a non-contact play, so one would assume the injury was largely due to the prior hit sustained on the bad snap:

Hurtpunter_medium

That forced the Pats to immediately press Gostkowkski into spot duty, catching practice snaps on the sideline and then hitting the final punt of the half.

Gostkowski did blast one 53 yards, but it's obviously not an ideal situation for Bill Belichick. To compound the matter, Allen is also the holder on field goals. So the Pats could be in a bit of trouble if this one is close down the stretch and they need to rely on their special teams.

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