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Jeff Allen looks like a tackle now

Coach Andy Reid said a couple of interesting things recently regarding Jeff Allen, who started at left guard his first two NFL seasons for the Kansas City Chiefs before missing all but the season-opener last year with an injured elbow.

The first Reid comment: “Tackle might be his best position.’’

The second: “Jeff is coming off that injury, so we’ve just got to see a little bit.”

Neither comment was a complete surprise. Allen was a tackle in college at Illinois, and the Chiefs moved him to right tackle for the season-opener last year after learning Donald Stephenson would be suspended by the NFL for the first four games of the season.

The Chiefs apparently viewed Allen as a tackle in opening days of free agency by attacking their weakness at guard. They traded with the New Orleans Saints for Ben Grubbs and signed Paul Fanaika from the Arizona Cardinals.

The Chiefs already have two rookies from last season at guard, including Zach Fulton, who started all 16 games at left guard last year. The other is a developmental prospect, Laurent Duvernay-Tardif.

But the Chiefs are short at tackle. They have Eric Fisher starting on the left side and Stephenson, at least for now, as their No. 1 at right tackle. Otherwise, at this point, Allen might be their best option at tackle.

Reid’s comment on Allen’s elbow injury was maybe more revealing. The Chiefs may not be counting on Allen and could view anything they get from him as a bonus.

Reid, speaking last month at the NFL’s annual meetings, indicated Stephenson would be first in line for the right tackle spot when practice gets started but that Allen would provide the competition.

“I’m kind of looking forward to seeing it,” Reid said,

The situation at right tackle, though, has a tentative feel. Stephenson and Allen, each drafted by the Chiefs in 2012, are headed into the final seasons of their contracts. Given the rate at which the Chiefs have seen offensive line regulars depart through free agency -- four over the past two seasons -- it might be wise for them to add another capable tackle to their roster.

The Chiefs could well do that in the draft, perhaps as early as the first round.