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.

Jared Allen handling long-snapping duties in practice only

Posted by: under Vikings, Leslie Frazier, Chris Kluwe, Jared Allen, Leslie Frazier, Visanthe Shiancoe Updated: November 17, 2011 - 3:31 PM

Thursday's practice at Winter Park is complete and here's the rundown of the Vikings' injury situation.

Cornerback Marcus Sherels missed Thursday's practice to attend a funeral after a death in his family. Safety Husain Abdullah was again held out as he recovers from a concussion. Long snapper Cullen Loeffler did not practice, due to a rotator cuff injury. And while linebacker Erin Henderson and tight end Visanthe Shiancoe did practice, both are dealing with hamstring injuries.

Henderson suffered his hamstring injury in Monday's loss at Green Bay and is still dealing with tightness. Shiancoe tweaked his hamstring during Thursday's practice.

As for Loeffler's absence, the Vikings have used a notable back-up to handle the special teams snaps the past two days in practice: Jared Allen, once a star long snapper at Idaho State.

"He brags all the time about he's the best in the league and the best in college when he came out," head coach Leslie Frazier said. "He is very good. Chris Kluwe has commented a number of times at how good he is."

As for the possibility Allen would handle snapping duties Sunday if Loeffler was unable to go?

"Zero chance," Frazier said. "Zero chance. ... Not in a game, man. We want him rushing the quarterback."

Loeffler hopes to return to practice Friday. If he can't or reinjures his shoulder, the Vikings would have to find themselves a spare part replacement on the open market.



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