INDIANAPOLIS – Dwayne Allen is in Arizona this time of year because he wants to be in San Francisco come February.
The decision to miss the first four weeks of the Colts offseason program wasn't an easy decision for Allen.
As the Colts NFLPA representative, Allen is a young leader within the Indianapolis locker room and his team-first mentality played into the choice to make sure he's physically prepared for a season that could include more than 20 games.
"Getting healthy, that's the only reason why I'm not back in Indy, with the guys, going through Phase One and Phase Two," Allen said from Arizona on 1070 The Fan last week.
"The high ankle sprain (from 2014) lingered a little longer then I wanted it to. I talked to (Coach Pagano) about it and there was an understanding. I've been out here for two months, just grinding, getting my body in good shape so that I can go out and the team can depend on me. Getting late in the year (2014), I had a banged up knee and a banged up ankle. They didn't feel, I didn't feel, that they could depend on me and that was frustrating because I feel as if, in every situation throughout the season, they can count me."
Allen's reasoning for working out in Arizona this offseason is mainly centered on the chance to have personalized treatment.
Workouts for Allen occur early in the morning and time with a physical therapist is also included in the routine, to make sure his ankle can handle an NFL season.
In last year's November 16 meeting with the Patriots, Allen left the game early with an ankle injury.
He missed the Colts next two games and caught just three passes for the rest of the regular season.
Allen bounced back with 11 receptions in the postseason, but still didn't feel like himself.
"With my game, I need to focus on run after the catch and definitely improve in that area while sustaining, if not making grounds, in the pass blocking, and run blocking areas," Allen said of his offseason priorities.
"I felt like I took a step back (in 2014) and wasn't able to be as big of an impact as I was the previous year. I'm looking for a big year."
With the Colts concluding Phase Two of their offseason program this week, Allen is expected to rejoin the team next Monday (May 18) for OTAs.
The organized team activities will allow for Allen to get re-acclimated with an offense he's such a vital presence for, from a run, and passing standpoint.
"This time of year is part of the process for whenever we touch the field in San Fran (Super Bowl 50)," Allen said.
"The decision to come out here really gutted me, because I am a team first guy and I want what's best for the team. I felt like me coming out here, to stay in shape for the entire season and make it to San Fran, where I'm performing at a high level, is the best thing for the team."
Reminder, the Colts will have their open veteran mini-camp practice at Lucas Oil Stadium on Wednesday, June 10th.
A look back at highlights from Dwayne Allen's 2014 season.