San Diego receiver Keenan Allen, one of NFL’s top rookies, says he almost quit early this season

San Diego Chargers receiver Keenan Allen is one of the breakout stars of this season, a favorite to win NFL offensive rookie of the year. But in September he was just a guy near the bottom of the depth chart.

He was a college star at Cal, but three games into the season the third-round pick had three catches for 30 yards. He didn't even play in the season opener.

According to the San Diego Union-Tribune, Allen said he was ready to quit football. He said in September he called his mother after not playing in Week 1 and told her that he wanted to give it up.

"'I need help. I'm losing. I'm about to quit,'" Allen told the Union-Tribune. "(I wasn't) living up to my expectations of starting. I've never been a role player-type guy. Not easy at all. ... I've never had to do it before. I never had to adjust."

Allen said, "after that first game, I was about another snap away of not playing from quitting." He said he was thinking about going back to Cal and finishing his degree, maybe becoming a music producer.

But injuries to Chargers receivers Danario Alexander and Malcom Floyd gave Allen his chance, and he has been fantastic ever since. He has 66 catches, 957 yards and eight touchdowns this season.

"It's crazy," Allen said, according to the Union-Tribune. "I came a long way."

Realistically, it's unlikely Allen would have quit football less than a month into his career, considering how rare it is for any rookie to voluntarily retire. All the Chargers know is that they're very happy he got his chance to shine before he could walk away from them.

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Frank Schwab is the editor of Shutdown Corner on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter!

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