Devon Allen, set to fly with Philadelphia Eagles, still sees track in his future


No, Olympic 110m hurdler Devon Allen has not raced any of his new teammates since signing with the Philadelphia Eagles in April.

“Being a pro track and field athlete, I don’t race for free,” Allen said with a chuckle. “I was like, ‘All right, we’ll race but for $10,000 a race,’ and nobody took me up on that yet.”

And no, Allen has not had a chance to hurdle a defensive back.

“The funny thing is, I feel like people kind of know I’m the hurdler,” he said, “so they’re not going to go low on me.”

But the 27-year-old NFL rookie wide receiver proved to himself that he belongs on a football field.

“I know it’s been a while since I’ve played football, but I’ve played it my whole life,” Allen said in a video interview with NBC Sports Philadelphia from his apartment in Annapolis, Maryland. “Hopefully it’s going to be like riding a bike.”

Allen, who will race reigning world champion Grant Holloway in the USATF NYC Grand Prix 110m hurdles on Sunday (4-6 p.m. ET on NBC,, NBC Sports app and Peacock), is delicately balancing his passions for football and track.

He competed in both sports at the University of Oregon, leading the Ducks with seven touchdown receptions as a redshirt freshman in 2014. After finishing fifth at the 2016 Rio Games, he returned to collegiate football until he tore his left ACL and MCL and suffered meniscus damage in a non-contact injury defending a punt return in a game Sept. 17, 2016.

He turned pro in track in November 2016 and circled 2020 as the year he would return to football, but when the Tokyo Games were postponed to 2021, he had to wait another year.

“It took five years and now I’m here,” said Allen, who missed an Olympic medal by four hundredths of a second in Tokyo.

Allen caught the attention of the Eagles after clocking 4.35 seconds in the 40-yard dash at Oregon’s Pro Day in April, despite not having played a snap of football since 2016. Within 20 minutes, Allen was on the phone with Eagles general manager Howie Roseman.

“It’s good to go somewhere where you’re wanted,” Allen said, adding that “a few” other teams also expressed interest.

His return to football did have a false start.

On May 29, just hours before he was scheduled to depart for Eagles organized team activities (OTAs), he tested positive for COVID-19 for the first time. Symptoms were mild, but rather than running routes for Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts, Allen had to settle for catching passes from his track coach, Jamie Cook.

“I haven’t been with an NFL caliber quarterback since I was in college,” Allen said.

Allen has had the chance to bond with his new teammates away from the football field.

When Allen broke the Penn Relays 110m hurdles record on April 30, several Eagles were in attendance. His pre-race dinner? A crawfish boil hosted by Hurts.

“[Hurts] told me that the second, third and fourth batches were going to be a lot more spicy than the first, and he wasn’t lying,” Allen said. “I was definitely feeling it the next few days.”

For the next two months, Allen is mostly focused on track. His goal is to finish in the top three at the USATF Outdoor Championships (June 23-26) to qualify for the world championships (July 15-24). Both meets are at his former college home in Eugene, Oregon.

Allen reportedly signed a three-year contract with the Eagles, but he will still need to earn a roster spot.

Once the Eagles open training camp on July 26, he plans on hanging up his track spikes until after the Super Bowl, assuming he makes the team. Then, if everything goes to plan, he would compete in track during the 2023 NFL offseason and return to football for training camp.

“The training is similar,” Allen said. “I train to be as explosive and strong as possible on the track, and that’s pretty much what I’ll be doing with football.”

The biggest challenges for Allen in transitioning to football have been learning the playbook and running routes that require a change of pace.

“I’ve been running track, so it’s not like I’ve been stopping a lot,” Allen said.

The 6-foot, 190-pound Allen compared his game to Buffalo Bills wide receiver Stefon Diggs and Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase.

Allen said he’d “like to think” he will be the fastest player in the NFL, although he admitted he lost a race to Miami Dolphins wide receiver Tyreek Hill in high school.

“I could see myself very early on just being a major deep threat,” Allen said. “I mean, that’s one thing I’m good at. I can run. There’s no doubt in my mind.

“I’m a lot more physical than people are going to expect, and I’m excited to do that again. That’s something I missed.”

Allen has been impressed by his new teammates. This offseason, the Eagles acquired wide receivers A.J. Brown and Zach Pascal to go along with DeVonta Smith, Quez Watkins and Greg Ward.

“I do think we definitely have the fastest receiver corps in the NFL and probably one of the best receiver rooms in the NFL as well,” he said.

Allen claims that he is in the best shape of his life, having run a 100m personal best in April and the year’s third-fastest 110m hurdles at the Penn Relays.

“My job is going to be the fast guy,” Allen said. “I’m one of the fastest men in the world, so I need to be able to show that on the field.”

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2023 French Open women’s singles draw, scores

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At the French Open, Iga Swiatek of Poland eyes a third title at Roland Garros and a fourth Grand Slam singles crown overall.

The tournament airs live on NBC Sports, Peacock and Tennis Channel through championship points in Paris.

Swiatek, the No. 1 seed from Poland, can join Serena Williams and Justine Henin as the lone women to win three or more French Opens since 2000.

Turning 22 during the tournament, she can become the youngest woman to win three French Opens since Monica Seles in 1992 and the youngest woman to win four Slams overall since Williams in 2002.

FRENCH OPEN: Broadcast Schedule | Men’s Draw

But Swiatek is not as dominant as in 2022, when she went 16-0 in the spring clay season during an overall 37-match win streak.

She retired from her most recent match with a right thigh injury last week and said it wasn’t serious. Before that, she lost the final of another clay-court tournament to Australian Open champion Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus.

Sabalenka, the No. 2 seed, and Elena Rybakina of Kazakhstan, the No. 4 seed and Wimbledon champion, are the top challengers in Paris.

No. 3 Jessica Pegula and No. 6 Coco Gauff, runner-up to Swiatek last year, are the best hopes to become the first American to win a Grand Slam singles title since Sofia Kenin at the 2020 Australian Open. The 11-major drought is the longest for U.S. women since Seles won the 1996 Australian Open.

MORE: All you need to know for 2023 French Open

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2023 French Open Women’s Singles Draw

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2023 French Open men’s singles draw, scores

French Open Men's Draw
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The French Open men’s singles draw is missing injured 14-time champion Rafael Nadal for the first time since 2004, leaving the Coupe des Mousquetaires ripe for the taking.

The tournament airs live on NBC Sports, Peacock and Tennis Channel through championship points in Paris.

Novak Djokovic is not only bidding for a third crown at Roland Garros, but also to lift a 23rd Grand Slam singles trophy to break his tie with Nadal for the most in men’s history.

FRENCH OPEN: Broadcast Schedule | Women’s Draw

But the No. 1 seed is Spaniard Carlos Alcaraz, who won last year’s U.S. Open to become, at 19, the youngest man to win a major since Nadal’s first French Open title in 2005.

Now Alcaraz looks to become the second-youngest man to win at Roland Garros since 1989, after Nadal of course.

Alcaraz missed the Australian Open in January due to a right leg injury, but since went 30-3 with four titles. Notably, he has not faced Djokovic this year. They could meet in the semifinals.

Russian Daniil Medvedev, who lost in the French Open first round in 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020, is improved on clay. He won the Italian Open, the last top-level clay event before the French Open, and is the No. 2 seed ahead of Djokovic.

No. 9 Taylor Fritz, No. 12 Frances Tiafoe and No. 16 Tommy Paul are the highest-seeded Americans, all looking to become the first U.S. man to make the French Open quarterfinals since Andre Agassi in 2003. Since then, five different American men combined to make the fourth round on eight occasions.

MORE: All you need to know for 2023 French Open

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2023 French Open Men’s Singles Draw

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