- Associated Press - Tuesday, September 2, 2014

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. (AP) - The experiment in the New York Jets’ secondary is about to get its first true test.

Safety Antonio Allen was medically cleared after suffering a concussion on Aug. 22, and has been told he will start at cornerback in the regular-season opener against the Oakland Raiders on Sunday.

“I feel good,” Allen said Tuesday. “I’m ready to go, ready to play ball.”

It appeared to be a bit of a desperate move in training camp when the Jets switched Allen from safety to cornerback because of injuries in the secondary. Defensive coordinator Dennis Thurman called it an “experiment” at the time.

Now, it’s a reality. Allen, in his third season, will be making his first NFL start at cornerback.

“I feel pretty good with my preparation,” Allen said. “Went out there and had a decent day today. I didn’t give up any deep balls, just competed well, and hopefully I can do that in the game.”

The Jets are counting on that.

“I wouldn’t say I’m comfortable,” Allen said, “but I’m getting there.”

And, as for the other cornerback spot, that’s still a bit unsettled.

Dee Milliner, expected to be the top cornerback in his second season, is still recovering from a high ankle sprain that has his status uncertain. Dimitri Patterson, signed in April to start opposite Milliner, is no longer with the team after an unexcused 48-hour absence led to him missing a game, being suspended and ultimately cut. Third-round draft pick Dexter McDougle, expected to be a major contributor, is done for the season after tearing a knee ligament during camp.

The Jets have also tinkered with the roster, bringing in Leon McFadden, formerly of Cleveland, and Phillip Adams, who was with Seattle, to add depth to the cornerback spot.

So, it could come down to career backup Darrin Walls starting with Allen at cornerback against rookie Derek Carr. It all has some fans downright nervous, wishing for the days when their team had Darrelle Revis and Antonio Cromartie prowling the secondary.

“No panic at all for us,” safety Dawan Landry said. “We’re the guys that play the game, so we approach it that way. We can’t worry about outside sources. The game is played on the field, not played on paper.”

Allen played linebacker and safety in college at South Carolina, but has been working at cornerback this summer before he injured his head when he collided with teammate Demario Davis against the Giants.

“It’s been going pretty well,” Allen said of the transition. “Safeties know the defense, and as a safety, you’ve got to tell the corners what to do, so I’ve pretty much got the scheme down for what the corners are supposed to do.”

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