Matt Vensel is in his first year at the Star Tribune after covering the Ravens for the Baltimore Sun for six years. He is a Pittsburgh native and a Penn State grad. Follow him at @mattvensel.

Mark Craig has covered the NFL for 23 years, and the Vikings since 2003 for the Star Tribune. He is one of 44 Pro Football Hall of Fame selectors. Follow him at @markcraignfl.

Master Tesfatsion is the Star Tribune’s digital Vikings writer. He is a 2013 graduate of Arizona State and worked for before arriving in Minneapolis. Follow him at @masterstrib.

Christian Ponder, Jared Allen both probable for Sunday's game

Posted by: under Injury report, Vikings, Leslie Frazier, Antoine Winfield, Jared Allen, Leslie Frazier Updated: October 5, 2012 - 2:03 PM

Vikings quarterback Christian Ponder and defensive end Jared Allen are both probable to play Sunday at Mall of America Field against Tennessee.

Ponder is still dealing with some lingering soreness in his right knee and was limited in practice throughout the week. The knee seemed to be giving Ponder the most trouble at Wednesday's practice. But the coaching staff feels he turned a corner on Thursday and Friday.

"We're comfortable," Leslie Frazier said this afternoon. "He moved around well yesterday. He moved around well today. There were no ill effects at all. So that's good."

Allen has a groin injury he suffered during the fourth quarter in Detroit. Allen sat out practice on Wednesday and Thursday but returned on Friday. He should have the green light for Sunday, though Frazier admitted that Everson Griffen might see the field more in Allen's place as a precaution.

"We'll have to see how Jared does," Frazier said. "We're expecting him to play and play well on Sunday. But we'll have to monitor how he's doing and where he is over the course of the game and be smart about how we use him in this ballgame, knowing that he's missed a couple days of practice."

Linebacker Erin Henderson is also expected to return to action after missing the past two games with a concussion. Henderson will start but Jasper Brinkley will remain the team's middle linebacker in nickel packages.

The Vikings will keep an eye on Henderson as he gets back into the mix.

"That first contact will help him," Frazier said. "Once he collides with someone and doesn't have any ringing or anything that causes problems for him, I think that will help his confidence. Until that happens, it's in the back of your mind: 'What's that first contact going to be like?' We'll have to get through those first few plays for him so that he can gain his confidence and know that everything is fine."

Other Vikings on this week's injury report: 

  • Out: Mistral Raymond (ankle), Andrew Sendejo (ankle)
  • Doubtful: Marvin Mitchell (calf)
  • Questionable: Erin Henderson (concussion), Michael Jenkins (ribs)
  • Probable: Antoine Winfield (knee), Charlie Johnson (low back), Marcus Sherels (quadriceps)

Avoiding the trap

The Vikings are 6.5-point favorites for Sunday. Which means they're a crisp performance away from improving to 4-1. And their opponent in Week 5, the Titans, have been outscored 76-24 in their two road games. Seems like the proverbial trap game for the Vikings doesn't it?

Frazier is guarding against that.

"You keep harping on it to our players about preparation and how important it is to stay focused on the task at hand -- the Tennessee Titans and coming away with a win at home. You keep hitting that message over and over again. And hopefully that resonates. I think it will with our players. They're hungry. They want to have success."

Now that's what I call stretching

The Vikings opened the stretching portion of their Friday practice with a rambunctious soundtrack: "Gangnam Style" and "Party Rock Anthem."

Frazier made it known that wasn't his playlist.

"Not in my iPod," he said.

Frazier added later, "There were a group of guys [who picked that]," Frazier said. "I don't know if you'll get a repeat. There were a lot of guys voicing their displeasure. So I don't know if that will be repeated."


Kansas City - J. Vargas 7:07 PM
San Francisco - R. Vogelsong
Detroit 10/26/14 8:30 AM
Buffalo 10/26/14 12:00 PM
NY Jets
St. Louis 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Kansas City
Houston 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Minnesota 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Seattle 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Baltimore 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Miami 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Chicago 10/26/14 12:00 PM
New England
Philadelphia 10/26/14 3:05 PM
Oakland 10/26/14 3:25 PM
Indianapolis 10/26/14 3:25 PM
Green Bay 10/26/14 7:30 PM
New Orleans
Washington 10/27/14 7:30 PM
New Orleans 10/30/14 7:25 PM
Buffalo 3:00 PM
San Jose
Boston 6:00 PM
NY Rangers 6:00 PM
New Jersey 6:00 PM
Dallas 6:00 PM
NY Islanders
Detroit 6:00 PM
Chicago 7:00 PM
St. Louis
Pittsburgh 7:00 PM
Tampa Bay 7:00 PM
Florida 8:00 PM
Washington 9:00 PM
Connecticut 21 FINAL
(18) East Carolina 31
Miami-Florida 30 FINAL
Virginia Tech 6
So Florida 17 FINAL
Cincinnati 34
Troy 13 FINAL
South Alabama 27
Boise State 55
(6) Oregon 59 FINAL
California 41
North Texas 14 1st Qtr 3:11
Rice 14
UAB 0 2nd Qtr 14:52
Arkansas 21
Rutgers 7 2nd Qtr
(16) Nebraska 7
Maryland 0 1st Qtr 3:24
Wisconsin 10
Texas 0 2nd Qtr
(11) Kansas State 6
Minnesota 0 2nd Qtr 15:00
Illinois 14
Memphis 7 2nd Qtr 15:00
North Carolina 0 1st Qtr 9:08
Virginia 7
San Jose St 12:00 PM
Northern Ill 12:00 PM
Eastern Mich
(25) UCLA 1:00 PM
Akron 1:00 PM
Ball State
Massachusetts 1:00 PM
Ohio U 1:00 PM
Western Mich
Ga Southern 1:00 PM
Georgia State
Kent State 1:30 PM
Oregon State 2:30 PM
Fla Atlantic 2:30 PM
(23) Marshall
Louisiana Tech 2:30 PM
Southern Miss
(1) Miss State 2:30 PM
Georgia Tech 2:30 PM
(22) West Virginia 2:30 PM
Oklahoma State
Texas Tech 2:30 PM
(10) TCU
Michigan 2:30 PM
(8) Michigan State
Boston College 2:30 PM
Wake Forest
Central Mich 2:30 PM
Vanderbilt 3:00 PM
Old Dominion 3:00 PM
Western Ky
UNLV 3:00 PM
Utah State
Temple 4:00 PM
(15) Arizona 5:00 PM
Washington St
Texas-El Paso 6:00 PM
TX-San Antonio
Wyoming 6:00 PM
Colorado State
Syracuse 6:00 PM
(21) Clemson
Texas State 6:00 PM
(3) Ole Miss 6:15 PM
(24) LSU
(4) Alabama 6:30 PM
So Carolina 6:30 PM
(5) Auburn
(13) Ohio State 7:00 PM
Penn State
(20) USC 9:00 PM
(19) Utah
(14) Arizona State 9:45 PM
Nevada 10:59 PM
(2) Florida State 10/30/14 6:30 PM
Troy 10/30/14 6:30 PM
Ga Southern
Cincinnati 10/31/14 7:00 PM
Tulsa 10/31/14 7:00 PM
Purdue 11/1/14 2:00 AM
(16) Nebraska
(17) Oklahoma 11/1/14 2:00 AM
Iowa State
Oklahoma State 11/1/14 2:00 AM
(11) Kansas State
(10) TCU 11/1/14 2:00 AM
(22) West Virginia
Texas 11/1/14 2:00 AM
Texas Tech
Northwestern 11/1/14 2:00 AM
Maryland 11/1/14 2:00 AM
Penn State
Los Angeles 1:30 PM
D.C. 3:00 PM
Toronto FC 6:30 PM
New England
Portland 7:30 PM
FC Dallas
Colorado 9:00 PM
Vancouver FC
Montreal 23 FINAL
Ottawa 17
Saskatchewan 27 FINAL
Calgary 40
Hamilton 3:00 PM
Brt Columbia 6:00 PM
Hamilton 10/31/14 6:30 PM
Winnipeg 11/1/14 3:00 PM
Brt Columbia 11/1/14 6:00 PM
Toronto 11/2/14 11:00 AM


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