- Associated Press - Tuesday, August 12, 2014

CORTLAND, N.Y. (AP) - What a whirlwind of a week for Antonio Allen.

And, it was still only Tuesday.

The New York Jets safety was moved to cornerback at practice Monday, an intriguing and sudden switch that was the result of a spate of injuries at the position.

Not only that: On Saturday night, Allen will likely be starting at Cincinnati in the team’s preseason game - and facing Bengals star wide receiver A.J. Green.

“Well, if he can cover that kid, then he can cover them all,” coach Rex Ryan said Tuesday. “I think if he can cover that kid, then we know we’re in good shape because that guy is about as good as it gets. I think our entire fan base would sleep a lot better.”

Ryan at first danced around whether Allen would start, saying only that he would - but he didn’t know if it would be at cornerback. Then, he came clean.

“You know what, I think he probably will,” Ryan said, smiling. “I think, what the heck? Let’s put him out there.”

The Jets are short-handed at cornerback after injuries to Dee Milliner (sprained ankle), Dimitri Patterson (quadriceps, ankle and calf) and Dexter McDougle (season-ending torn knee ligament). Instead of turning to one of the other backup cornerbacks, Ryan decided to give Allen an opportunity.

“Rex came up to me (Monday) before practice and told me he was going to try me at corner and see how that went,” Allen said. “I guess I did pretty well.”

He had two interceptions in Monday’s practice, an impressive first showing. He was beat Tuesday by Eric Decker on a play, but held his own again while taking all of his snaps at cornerback.

“Whatever helps the team,” Allen said, “I’m down for.”

Some might say the move is one of desperation after general manager John Idzik didn’t sign one of the big-name free-agent cornerbacks in the offseason. Others might say it’s a gamble, moving a guy from a position he’s still learning to another he really hasn’t played.

“Let’s just see what happens, man,” Allen said. “I’m going to get out there and make some plays. I know that. I’m going out there confident and no-holds barred.”

Allen was a linebacker his first two years at South Carolina before being moved to safety. He was mostly a hybrid outside linebacker, though, largely dealing with interior plays. The Jets drafted him in the seventh round in 2012, thinking they had gotten a steal.

He was moved to safety exclusively and was in the running to be a starter at that spot this season after getting nine starts last year. Ryan has even commented that Allen could be a potential Pro Bowl-caliber player.

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