Pro Bowler: Allen rewarded for standout season

  • Article by: DAN WIEDERER , Star Tribune
  • Updated: December 28, 2011 - 10:59 AM
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Jared Allen (69) sacks Rex Grossman.

Photo: Carlos Gonzalez, Star Tribune

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A snapshot look at the Vikings as they prepare for Sunday's game against the Bears at Mall of America Field.

Player in the spotlight: Jared Allen

Pro Bowl invitations were handed out Tuesday evening and, not surprisingly, defensive end Jared Allen will be headed back to Honolulu next month. This will be Allen's fourth Pro Bowl trip, a fitting reward for a star who is now only 2 1/2 sacks away from tying Chris Doleman's single-season team record of 21.

Allen has been consistent all season and has emerged as a reliable locker room leader as well. The Pro Bowl trip is further validation of his superb effort this season.

"This feels amazing," Allen said. "This is obviously a high honor to be considered a Pro Bowler amongst my peers. And to be voted in, on an individual level, that's what we play for -- to be recognized by our peers. So it's a phenomenal honor."

In addition to his impressive sack total, Allen has added 36 quarterback hurries, four forced fumbles, four fumble recoveries and an interception.

Most-pressing question

Q: After Adrian Peterson's knee surgery next week, what are some keys to the rehabilitation process?

A: Eric Sugarman, the Vikings' head athletic trainer, expressed confidence Monday that Peterson has both the mindset and the DNA to make a strong recovery.

That said, Sugarman also knows it will be important not to rush things, with both him and Peterson needing to stay realistic and in tune with the running back's knee strength at each step along the way.

"It's very important to know your players and their personality," Sugarman said. "And certainly Adrian has been injured [before] and I have had the opportunity with my staff to work with him on several occasions. It's going to be important to keep him in check."

Sugarman believes Peterson's drive will be a major asset in his recuperation so long as he understands, for safety's sake, he can't always be pushing to do more.

"The anterior cruciate ligament, when it is first reconstructed and put in, in months two and three it actually declines in strength," Sugarman said. "And then once you reach the third month, it starts climbing up that ladder and gets stronger and stronger through the process. So it is really important to keep the athlete in check."

Keep an eye on ...

Guard Steve Hutchinson was placed on injured reserve Tuesday, still recovering from the concussion he suffered 10 days ago. Hutchinson has played 11 NFL seasons, including the past six with the Vikings. But his future in the Twin Cities may be somewhat iffy. He is due to make close to $7 million next season, meaning a contract restructuring might be in order if Hutchinson wants to remain a Viking. To fill his spot on the active roster this week, the Vikings signed rookie running back Jordan Todman off the Chargers' practice squad.

Scouting the Bears

Chicago was 7-3 and looking like a potential threat in the NFC after a 31-20 victory over San Diego in Week 11. Then, the Bears lost quarterback Jay Cutler to a broken thumb, and later running back Matt Forte suffered a medial collateral ligament sprain in his right knee. The result: a five-game losing streak that has eliminated the Bears from the wild-card chase. Both were placed on injured reserve Tuesday.

In last week's 35-21 loss in Green Bay, quarterback Josh McCown made his first start since December 2007, going 19-for-28 for 242 yards and a touchdown with two interceptions. Running back Kahlil Bell, meanwhile, ran with purpose, totaling 159 yards from scrimmage on 27 touches.

True or false

Q: There are many good reasons to spend your New Year's Day watching Bears-Vikings.

A: False.

No Peterson. No Cutler. No Forte. Sunday's finale has all the makings of an insignificant yawner between the two worst teams in the NFC North.

For what it's worth, oddsmakers currently have the game as a "pick-'em" contest. But in truth, at noon Sunday, MTV's "Jersey Shore" marathon might prove to be more entertaining and less of a train wreck.

  • VIKINGS • Up next: Noon Sunday vs. Chicago • Mall of America Field • TV: Ch. 9 (100.3-FM, 1130-AM)

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San Diego 21 FINAL
Denver 35
Detroit 10/26/14 8:30 AM
Atlanta
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
Tennessee
Minnesota 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Seattle 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Carolina
Baltimore 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Cincinnati
Miami 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Jacksonville
Chicago 10/26/14 12:00 PM
New England
Philadelphia 10/26/14 3:05 PM
Arizona
Oakland 10/26/14 3:25 PM
Cleveland
Indianapolis 10/26/14 3:25 PM
Pittsburgh
Green Bay 10/26/14 7:30 PM
New Orleans
Washington 10/27/14 7:30 PM
Dallas
Indiana 88 FINAL
Charlotte 79
Philadelphia 103 FINAL
Detroit 109
Dallas 85 FINAL
New Orleans 88
NY Islanders 3 FINAL
Boston 2
Pittsburgh 3 FINAL(OT)
Detroit 4
Vancouver 4 FINAL
St. Louis 1
Chicago 2 FINAL
Nashville 3
Arizona 0 FINAL
Minnesota 2
Carolina 0 FINAL
Calgary 5
Buffalo 0 FINAL
Los Angeles 2
Columbus 5 FINAL
San Jose 4
Connecticut 21 FINAL
(18) East Carolina 31
Miami-Florida 30 FINAL
Virginia Tech 6
So Florida 6:00 PM
Cincinnati
Troy 6:30 PM
South Alabama
BYU 8:00 PM
Boise State
(6) Oregon 9:00 PM
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Rice
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Arkansas
Rutgers 10/25/14 11:00 AM
(16) Nebraska
Maryland 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Wisconsin
Texas 10/25/14 11:00 AM
(11) Kansas State
Minnesota 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Illinois
Memphis 10/25/14 11:00 AM
SMU
North Carolina 10/25/14 11:30 AM
Virginia
San Jose St 10/25/14 12:00 PM
Navy
Northern Ill 10/25/14 12:00 PM
Eastern Mich
(25) UCLA 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Colorado
Akron 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Ball State
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Toledo
Ohio U 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Western Mich
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Georgia State
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Miami-Ohio
Oregon State 10/25/14 2:30 PM
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Fla Atlantic 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(23) Marshall
Louisiana Tech 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Southern Miss
(1) Miss State 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Kentucky
Georgia Tech 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Pittsburgh
(22) West Virginia 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Oklahoma State
Texas Tech 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(10) TCU
Michigan 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(8) Michigan State
Boston College 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Wake Forest
Central Mich 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Buffalo
Vanderbilt 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Missouri
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Western Ky
UNLV 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Utah State
Temple 10/25/14 4:00 PM
UCF
(15) Arizona 10/25/14 5:00 PM
Washington St
Texas-El Paso 10/25/14 6:00 PM
TX-San Antonio
Wyoming 10/25/14 6:00 PM
Colorado State
Syracuse 10/25/14 6:00 PM
(21) Clemson
Texas State 10/25/14 6:00 PM
ULM
(3) Ole Miss 10/25/14 6:15 PM
(24) LSU
(4) Alabama 10/25/14 6:30 PM
Tennessee
So Carolina 10/25/14 6:30 PM
(5) Auburn
(13) Ohio State 10/25/14 7:00 PM
Penn State
(20) USC 10/25/14 9:00 PM
(19) Utah
(14) Arizona State 10/25/14 9:45 PM
Washington
Nevada 10/25/14 10:59 PM
Hawaii
(2) Florida State 10/30/14 6:30 PM
Louisville
Troy 10/30/14 6:30 PM
Ga Southern
Montreal 5:30 PM
Ottawa
Saskatchewan 8:30 PM
Calgary
Hamilton 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Toronto
Brt Columbia 10/25/14 6:00 PM
Winnipeg
Hamilton 10/31/14 6:30 PM
Ottawa
Winnipeg 11/1/14 3:00 PM
Calgary
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Edmonton
Toronto 11/2/14 11:00 AM
Montreal
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Date/Opponent Time W L Score
2014 preseason     
Aug 8 - vs. Oakland 7 pmX10-6
Aug 16 - vs. Arizona 7:30 pmX30-28
Aug 23 - at Kansas City 7 pmX30-12
Aug 28 - at Tennessee 7 pmX19-3
2014 regular season     
Sep 7 - at St. Louis NoonX34-6
Sep 14 - vs. New England NoonX30-7
Sep 21 - at New Orleans NoonX20-9
Sep 28 - vs. Atlanta 3:25 pmX41-28
Oct 2 - at Green Bay 7:25 pmX42-10
Oct 12 - vs. Detroit NoonX17-3
Oct 19 - at. Buffalo NoonX17-16
Oct 26 - at Tampa Bay Noon
Nov 2 - vs. Washington Noon
Nov 9 - Bye
Nov 16 - at Chicago Noon
Nov. 23 - vs. Green Bay Noon
Nov. 30 - vs. Carolina Noon
Dec 7 - vs. NY Jets Noon
Dec 14 - at Detroit Noon
Dec 21 - at Miami Noon
Dec 28 - vs. Chicago Noon

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