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 mlb.com before arriving in Minneapolis. Follow him at @masterstrib.


Jared Allen fine for Sunday ... and Ponder engaged?

Posted by: under Vikings, Leslie Frazier, Jared Allen, Leslie Frazier Updated: December 4, 2012 - 2:34 PM

Vikings defensive end Jared Allen developed some minor lower back spasms following Sunday's 23-14 loss in Green Bay. But an MRI taken Monday on Allen's back revealed no structural damage, according to an NFL source.

The Vikings were never worried about the severity of Allen's injury but now have peace of mind and expect him to be fine for Sunday's game against Chicago.

This past weekend, a report from Jay Glazer asserted that Allen had a torn labrum in his shoulder, an injury he's been playing with throughout this season. Allen has started all 12 games and has 30 tackles and 8.5 sacks and talked some about the shoulder problem after Sunday's game.

Head coach Leslie Frazier was asked about Allen's shoulder injury after Sunday's loss but didn't want to talk about it.

"I don't really want to discuss his injuries. Jared's played every game this season. Like most guys, especially this time of year, he's playing through something. Very few guys who are playing this time of the year and that have played as many snaps as he's played are 100 percent, even when they're out there playing. So I really don't want to talk about anybody's injuries. All our guys are playing."

Ponder-Steele said to be engaged

Vikings quarterback Christian Ponder apparently is engaged to his girlfriend, ESPN's Samantha Steele.  Sports Illustrated's Richard Deitsch (@richarddeitsch) tweeted this afternoon: "Spoke to ESPN's @Samantha_Steele today. She confirms she is engaged to @VikingsFootball quarterback Christian Ponder."

So, there you go.

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