Allen heads for Hawaii first, then surgery

  • Article by: DAN WIEDERER , Star Tribune
  • Updated: January 7, 2013 - 9:49 PM
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Jared Allen sacked Aaron Rodgers

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Vikings defensive end Jared Allen will have offseason surgery to repair a torn labrum in his left shoulder, an injury the hampered him the entire 2012 season. Allen said the injury was an annoyance more than a major hindrance. He finished the year with 59 tackles, 12 sacks and 38 quarterback hits, a year after he threatened the NFL's single- season sack record with 22.

"Part of my game is an inside counter move and I just didn't have the complete strength," Allen said. "There's a couple of times that I was sitting there watching the quarterback right there and I'm just trying to get a couple of more inches of separation, which is the difference of a tackle where you get a hand on him versus wrapping him up."

Allen didn't know how long the post-operative recovery timetable would be but said he'd probably be rehabilitating for "a couple months." The 30-year-old also said he'd wait until after playing in the Pro Bowl on Jan. 27 to have the surgery.

"I've played with it all year, I'm going to at least enjoy the benefits of it, right?" Allen said. "That's like going to the ice cream shop and not getting any ice cream. I'll at least enjoy the free trip to Hawaii."

Felton wants to come back

Vikings fullback Jerome Felton, signed to a one-year, $700,000 deal last March, is scheduled to become a free agent in March. But the first-time Pro Bowler has made it clear he doesn't want to hit the open market.

In an exit meeting with General Manager Rick Spielman, Felton made his wishes clear, expressing gratitude to the Vikings for giving him a chance to showcase his skills this year and hoping he can continue to do so.

"I know it's a business and all that," Felton said. "But I feel good about being here. So I hope they get something done ... This is where I want to be. I want it to get done."

Felton has joked around with friends that he believes he's the best fullback in the league. Now, he said, with a trip booked to Oahu for the Pro Bowl, he has much greater supporting evidence.

"Now I've got a little bit more credibility," he said.

Gift season

Adrian Peterson was asked if he is still searching for gifts to reward his offensive line for their contributions to his incredible season. Texans running back Arian Foster rewarded his linemen with Segways.

"I was thinking about maybe four-wheelers," Peterson said. "Or snowmobiles would be pretty cool up here. So I'm kind of weighing my options. With snowmobiles, you only can ride it when the snow is here. Four-wheelers you can use on dry land or the snow, too. So I'm trying to choose in between which direction I'm going to go."

Coming along

After a rookie season in which, including playoffs, he made 36 of 39 field-goal attempts and hit all 10 of his tries from 50 yards or beyond, Vikings kicker Blair Walsh has only one thing left to do: visit Hawaii for the Pro Bowl.

Walsh expressed excitement about the game and also revealed his intentions of bringing long snapper Cullen Loeffler as his guest. Walsh and Loeffler still are hoping the Vikings long snapper will get an invite by the NFC staff to play in the game.

Etc.

• All eight practice squad players were signed to futures contracts Monday, giving the Vikings exclusive rights to them when the 2013 league year begins in March. Those players are defensive tackle Chase Baker, running back Joe Banyard, tight end LaMark Brown, cornerback Bobby Felder, tight end Chase Ford, guard Tyler Holmes, tackle Kevin Murphy and receiver Chris Summers.

• The Vikings will have the 23rd pick in the NFL draft on April 25.

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