Arizona Cardinals defensive lineman Zach Allen was listed on the injury report three separate times in 2021.
He was questionable to suit up for each of the Cardinals’ final two games of the season, but was ultimately able to battle through the pain and take the field in both contests.
On Wednesday, Allen revealed how badly his ankle was injured after hurting it in a Christmas Day loss to the Indianapolis Colts.
“We finally did the MRI and we saw what it actually was,” Allen said, per Howard Balzer of All Cardinals.
“I literally had no ligaments in my ankle… My tibia was basically floating. So, the tape was the only thing holding it together.”
In order to make it through the final stretch of the Cardinals’ 2021 season, Allen had to fight through the pain with “a lot of tape and a lot of Toradol” to “make it work and kind of keep it together.”
Allen underwent surgery to repair the ankle just one week after the Cardinals’ Wild Card loss to the eventual Super Bowl-champion Rams.
“I was on the surgery table the next week and right back out here and working out, rehab and the whole deal and luckily we have a bunch of guys that stay here,” he added. “So, it was (good) being around the guys.”
Allen is happy with the way he’s feeling as he heads into his fourth NFL season.
“Honestly, I feel better now than I did last year going into the season,” he said. “Our strength staff and rehab guys have just done an absolutely terrific job.”
Allen posted a career-best year in 2021, logging 4.0 sacks, 48 tackles, 14 QB hits and four passes defended through 14 starts.