Kyle Allen was a winner of Washington's first OTAs simply by suiting up

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Kyle Allen was a winner of WFT's first OTAs simply by suiting up originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington

The quarterbacks stood out during Washington's Tuesday OTAs session, and that is meant literally: Just like they do for every other practice at the club's Ashburn headquarters, the signal callers donned yellow jerseys that separated them from the crowd of white and burgundy tops.

Yet, in that group of four already-noticeable passers, one forced a few observers to do an initial double take — and it wasn't presumptive starter Ryan Fitzpatrick or instant fan favorite Taylor Heinicke.

Instead, Kyle Allen — whose attempt to lock down the starting job in 2020 was derailed by the ghastly ankle injury he suffered in November against the New York Giants — was the guy who inspired a few extra looks. That continued once the action began when Allen participated in individual drills as well as some full-squad reps with a semi-fierce pass rush.

And that attention wasn't because No. 8 was doing anything that spectacular, either. It was simply because he was, well, doing things period.

While Allen had tape on his previously-dislocated ankle, there didn't appear to be any other sort of signal that he was still feeling the effects of his rehab or that Washington's staff was holding him back in any way.

Afterward, coach Ron Rivera indicated that he was satisfied with how the QB looked.

"He looked good and he threw the ball well," Rivera said. "His movement was good."

Earlier this year, Allen explained during an Instagram Live that he'd be ready for training camp, but OTAs are obviously much earlier than camp. Going off of that statement, he is well ahead of where he expected to be.

Perhaps some of the surprise about Allen's presence stems from the extreme circumstances surrounding Alex Smith's journey back, which clearly wasn't a typical recovery for many reasons but is one that still weighs heavy on the minds of all who follow the franchise. It may take a bit to grow accustomed to normal rehab timelines again.

Regardless, Allen's return was downright encouraging. It's not like it all of the sudden means he'll be challenging Fitzpatrick for Week 1 snaps, but he and Heinicke could find themselves entangled in a fight for the backup gig and, at the very least, Allen represents as competent a third-stringer as any NFL team could hope for.

So, while there were more pressing developments in the opening phase of OTAs, Allen's work shouldn't be ignored. Rivera's staff no doubt believes in his abilities, and by getting to a place where he's seemingly totally healthy, he'll have the opportunity to remind coaches of those abilities once more.

"I think we are in a good position at quarterback right now," Rivera said.