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."


New England 2/1/15 5:30 PM
Detroit 69 FINAL
Philadelphia 89
Portland 94 FINAL
Cleveland 99
Sacramento 102 FINAL
Toronto 119
Boston 98 FINAL
Minnesota 110
Dallas 94 FINAL
Houston 99
Denver 93 FINAL
New Orleans 85
Brooklyn 102 FINAL
Atlanta 113
Oklahoma City 92 FINAL
New York 100
Charlotte 86 FINAL
San Antonio 95
LA Clippers 94 FINAL
Utah 89
Washington 98 FINAL
Phoenix 106
Toronto 1 FINAL(SO)
New Jersey 2
Pittsburgh 0 FINAL
Washington 4
Chicago 3 FINAL
Los Angeles 4
Temple 86 FINAL
UCF 62
Winthrop 75 FINAL
Coastal Carolina 68
Lafayette 59 FINAL
Colgate 54
Northeastern 60 FINAL
Drexel 65
Wake Forest 76 FINAL
Florida State 82
Rhode Island 64 FINAL
Fordham 63
Delaware 82 FINAL
James Madison 88
South Carolina 58 FINAL
LSU 64
New Hampshire 63 FINAL
Maine 58
Seton Hall 80 FINAL
Marquette 70
Binghamton 68 FINAL
American Univ 54 FINAL
Navy 64
Elon 65 FINAL
UNC-Wilmington 82
Wright State 76 FINAL
Oakland 84
Minnesota 58 FINAL
Penn State 63
Duquesne 55 FINAL
Richmond 86
South Florida 52
Hartford 66 FINAL
Stony Brook 72
Albany 47 FINAL
Vermont 44
Hofstra 79 FINAL
William & Mary 100
UNC-Asheville 74 FINAL
Longwood 64
Radford 84 FINAL
Char Southern 77
Holy Cross 0 Postponed
Loyola-Maryland 0
Duke 73 FINAL
Notre Dame 77
Texas Tech 36 FINAL
Oklahoma 81
Oregon State 55 FINAL
Arizona State 73
Morehead State 82 FINAL
Austin Peay 69
Drake 69 FINAL
Bradley 57
Lehigh 62 FINAL
Bucknell 68
Rice 48 FINAL
Houston 59
Missouri State 57 FINAL
Illinois State 67
Loyola-Chicago 47 FINAL
Wichita State 58
Nebraska Omaha 64 FINAL
South Dakota St 86
Northern Iowa 59 FINAL
Southern Ill 52
Louisville 81 FINAL
Boston College 72
St Johns 74 FINAL
Creighton 77
East Carolina 58 FINAL
Memphis 70
Georgia Tech 70 FINAL
Miami-Florida 50
Miss State 73 FINAL
Ole Miss 79
Clemson 68 FINAL
NC State 57
Indiana 67 FINAL
Purdue 83
Kansas 64 FINAL
TCU 61
Oregon 56 FINAL
Arizona 90
Air Force 66 FINAL
San Jose St 52
Stanford 84 FINAL
Washington 74
Rider 56 FINAL
Siena 49
Dayton 76 FINAL
Richmond 62
Eastern Kentucky 53 FINAL
Jacksonville St 73
Saint Josephs 0 Postponed
Saint Louis 0
Binghamton 55
Akron 60 FINAL
Ohio U 72
Ball State 72 FINAL
Miami-Ohio 55
Memphis 56 FINAL
Cincinnati 44
East Carolina 32 FINAL
(2) Connecticut 87
Murray State 59 FINAL
Eastern Illinois 75
Kent State 63 FINAL
Central Michigan 65
UT Martin 64 FINAL
Tennessee St 58
Eastern Michigan 56 FINAL
Western Mich 83
Bucknell 61 FINAL
Lehigh 76
Indiana 57 FINAL
Michigan State 72
Colgate 56 FINAL
Lafayette 58
Fordham 66 FINAL
Davidson 45
Duquesne 76 FINAL
St Bonaventure 64
George Mason 66 FINAL
VA Commonwealth 70
Detroit 59 FINAL
Youngstown St 58
Army 0 Postponed
Boston U 0
Loyola-Maryland 0 Postponed
Holy Cross 0
Tulsa 74
Oklahoma St 54 FINAL
Kansas State 52
West Virginia 57 FINAL
Texas Tech 73
Denver 56 FINAL
South Dakota 82
Northwestern St 46 FINAL
Central Arkansas 63
Austin Peay 67 FINAL
SIU-Edwardsville 87
Kansas 61 FINAL
Iowa State 56
Bowling Green 50 FINAL
Northern Ill 67
Penn State 64 FINAL
Minnesota 75
San Jose St 80 FINAL
Air Force 83
Boise State 82 FINAL
Colorado State 83
Utah State 51 FINAL
Wyoming 86
San Diego State 50 FINAL
Fresno State 57
Nevada 52 FINAL


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