Former Razorback Quarterback Gets First Shot at NFL Play

Brandon Allen celebrates after receiving a two-point conversion against Mississippi State, Nov 21, 2015. The Hogs lost 51-50.

The Denver Broncos announced Monday afternoon that veteran quarterback Joe Flacco will not play in this Sunday’s game against the Cleveland Browns. Instead, Denver will turn to Brandon Allen, a journeyman backup and former Arkansas Razorback.

Allen, 27, an Arkansas native and Fayetteville High School graduate, played at Arkansas from 2012 to 2015. He earned the starting job as a sophomore under first-year head coach Bret Bielema and kept it for the next three seasons.

During his junior year, Allen threw for 2,285 yards and 20 touchdowns, earning him a passer rating of 129.2. He led the Razorbacks against LSU that season to take on the 20th-ranked Tigers for their first Golden Boot victory since 2010, a 17-0 blanking. The week after, they shut out No. 8 Ole Miss in Fayetteville. That was Arkansas’ sixth win of the year, which earned the Hogs a berth in the Texas Bowl. The Razorbacks would stomp their longtime Southwest Conference foe, the Texas Longhorns, in a 31-7 victory.

In 2015, Allen threw for 3,440 yards and 30 touchdowns, completed nearly 66% of his passes and had a passer rating of 166.5, all with just eight interceptions. Arkansas won five conference games that season, including a quadruple-overtime thriller against Auburn, the impossible overtime triumph in Oxford, Mississippi against the 19th-ranked Rebels and a second-consecutive Golden Boot title over No. 9 LSU. The Hogs went on to win the Liberty Bowl against Kansas State.

Despite his successes with the Razorbacks, Allen has yet to see an NFL snap. He was selected by the Jacksonville Jaguars in the sixth round of the 2016 NFL Draft, but Jacksonville waived him the following year. The Los Angeles Rams claimed Allen in September of 2017, where he spent two years as the third-string QB. After making a trip to Super Bowl LIII, the Rams waived him at the end of August 2019. The Broncos claimed him to be their backup, and his number has finally been called.

The game in Denver will begin at 3:25 p.m. Sunday. It will not be available on CBS in Arkansas, but it can be seen with NFL Sunday Ticket or NFL RedZone.

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