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Chiefs OL Nick Allegretti on pain of torn UCL during Super Bowl: 'I was probably playing at about a five'

Nick Allegretti played 79 offensive snaps for the Chiefs in the regular season.

The backup offensive lineman logged 79 offensive snaps in Super Bowl LVIII for Kansas City, too, only the majority came with a torn UCL.

Allegretti suffered the injury late in the second quarter, when 49ers edge rusher Nick Bosa completed a tackle through the guard's arm, putting the Chiefs in jeopardy of resorting to a third-string lineman on the game's biggest stage.

"I haven't suffered an injury like that until then," Allegretti said Friday on The Jim Rome Show. "I immediately knew. It was something that you heard a pop, you felt it, and knowing minimal about anatomy knew that something was wrong in my elbow. Because my elbow is not supposed to bend that way. Fortunately, we had the two-minute warning, and I had a couple seconds to gather myself, figure out that my arm still bent and I was able to go. It was a tough situation, but fortunate enough I was able to still play."

Allegretti found himself thrust into the starting lineup due to Joe Thuney sustaining a pectoral injury during the team's AFC Divisional Round win over the Buffalo Bills.

Thuney's absence could have been a potentially brutal blow for the Chiefs. He finished 2023 at the top of his game, earning first-team All-Pro honors for the first time in his career and making a second straight Pro Bowl.

But Allegretti, who had made 13 career starts in five seasons, rose to the occasion by playing every snap in the AFC Championship Game, then gutted through a torn UCL to do the same in the Super Bowl.

"Stepping in for a guy like Joe, first of all, it's a challenge," Allegretti admitted. "He's been one of the best guards in the league for the past five years. I took that upon myself to step in and make sure that there was no drop off."

Although Allegretti didn't necessarily perform at an All-Pro level, he proved more than capable to shore up the interior before his injury and displayed immeasurable toughness after it.

The 27-year-old gave up four pressures on 56 pass-blocking snaps, per Next Gen Stats, a 7.1% allowance rate that matched Kansas City's other starting guard, Trey Smith, and was lower than both of the Chiefs' first-string offensive tackles.

Three of those pressures took place after the injury, including a third-down sack in the fourth quarter, but Allegretti didn't allow a single pressure during overtime.

"I would say, for me, I don't think you'll ever experience a nine or 10," Allegretti said when asked to rate how painful the injury was. "If you do it's going to be something really, really bad. So I was probably in that six or seven [range] right when it happened after I processed it. And then at halftime we were able to get the cream on it, massage it a little bit and then throw a brace on it. I was probably playing at about a five. It was one of those things that I could confidently use the arm knowing that most likely the UCL was already gone, so I wasn't going to tear it any worse. So if I could deal with the pain, I could play. So it was one of those things.

"One of our backup offensive lineman, he has a masters in biology and he wanted to go be a doctor when he was done. He told me, he goes, 'Listen, you don't need a UCL to play offensive line.' I was like, alright, I don't know what that means, but I don't need it, I'm good.' So I was able to go."

Allegretti was indeed able to go.

Thanks in part to his contributions, the Chiefs were able to go on and win it.

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