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Keenan Allen nearly quit Chargers after Week 1

Keenan Allen has already set the San Diego Chargers rookie record with five 100-yard receiving games.

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The team didn't know how close Allen came to never recording a single 100-yard game.

Allen was persona non grata in the Bolts' early-season offense, failing to play a single snap in the Week 1 loss to the Texans.

"After I didn't play after that first game," Allen said, via U-T San Diego, "I was about another snap away of not playing from quitting."

He was serious, too.

After three seasons playing his college ball at Cal, Allen contemplated going back to Berkeley to finish his degree, with an eye toward perhaps becoming a music producer. He even leaned on his mother for guidance.

"'I need help. I'm losing. I'm about to quit,'" Allen recalled of his conversation. "(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 was saved from that twist of fate when Malcom Floyd went down with a season-ending neck injury the next week.

Although it might be natural to doubt his passion for the game, Allen has overcome knee and shoulder injuries to emerge as a leading candidate for Offensive Rookie of the Year.

After watching Allen take off from the free-throw line for a key touchdown in the Week 15 upset over the Broncos, who can doubt his competitive fire?

It's not unusual for a 21-year-old to find himself drifting after his college days. Allen's surprising revelation speaks to the trials and tribulations of an underappreciated rookie struggling to adjust to a new NFL environment.

The latest "Around The League Podcast" delivered a Christmas gift, analyzing the chaotic playoff picture in both conferences.

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