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'It felt good to let my frustration go a little bit': Performance against Raiders encouraging for TE Davis Allen after dealing with hamstring injury

INGLEWOOD, Calif. – Understandably, missing extended time due to a hamstring injury was not how Davis Allen wanted to start his first NFL training camp.

The Rams tight end missed all of camp because of it, and just returned to practice earlier this week. It was far from ideal for a rookie who was a fifth-round draft pick this spring and eager to prove himself.

Making his preseason debut Saturday night against the Raiders, a healthy Allen turned in eight catches for 53 yards – both team-highs.

"It felt great," Allen told "I was so happy. I was telling my wife and my parents today just like, thank God, you know? I don't feel like I'm just in the back, I feel like I can contribute in some way. It felt good. I had a lot of frustration this past 3-4 weeks, and as a rookie, you want to prove yourself. And not being able to do that has been frustrating and scary, just because, you know the situation. It felt good just to let my frustration go a little bit, cut it loose and try to have as much fun as I could."

Davis was targeted a team-high eight times against Las Vegas, which means he caught every ball thrown his way.

His first catch set a good foundation for the rest of the evening. Facing a 2nd and 5 from the Raiders 47-yard line early in the second quarter, Rams quarterback Stetson Bennett dropped back and fired a pass over the middle which Allen snagged by making a leaping grab for a gain of 15 yards. That reception kept alive a drive that ended with the Rams' first points of the game, a 25-yard field goal by kicker Tanner Brown.

Allen had been hoping the ball would come his way based on how the play unfolded.

"The way it played out, I just turned back and I was like, 'Please throw it to me, please throw it to me,'" Allen said. "And then thankfully he did. He threw a great ball and it all worked out."

Bennett continued to throw the ball Allen's way the rest of the night. On Los Angeles' lone touchdown-scoring drive, Bennett connected with Allen for gains of five, four and seven yards that led to Bennett's 4-yard scramble for the score.

"I thought he played outstanding," Bennett said. "Physical. Tough. He made some good catches on some tough balls to catch. He's big-bodied. He's (a) friendly (target). I thought it was cool."

Rams head coach Sean McVay said involvement like Allen's sometimes naturally occurs that way, but that there was also a conscientious effort on quarterbacks coach and pass game coordinator Zac Robinson – who called the plays for the offense Saturday night – to get Allen going.

"He was somebody that, I know he's been chomping at the bit to be able to get out there," McVay said. "And to be able to see him get an opportunity to compete tonight, had a good look in his eye before the game. It's been good to just be able to get him out here and start to compete, getting comfortable coming out of stance, hearing the playcalls, breaking the huddle. I was happy for him to do as well as he did tonight."

The Los Angeles Rams take on the Las Vegas Raiders for preseason Week 2 at SoFi Stadium. Take a look at photos from the matchup!

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