The Vikings' rookie class has been more than expected all season and the honors continue to pile up as the young guns make their statement in the NFL.
On Tuesday, the Vikings' Aundrae Allison was named NFC Special Teams Player of the Week. Allison, who stepped in as the top return man Sunday against the Lions only because Troy Williamson was inactive with a concussion, responded with a team-record 103-yard kickoff return for the longest scoring play in franchise history.
With Adrian Peterson a lock for Rookie of the Year, Sidney Rice developing into the team's eventual go-to receiver, Marcus McCauley getting starting time for the last month with Antoine Winfield injured and Brian Robison leading the Vikings in sacks, Allison may have flown under the radar somewhat. But now he has put his stamp on the 2007 season and his name in the Vikings record book.
* In response to the announcement from Gov. Tim Pawlenty and state leaders that there will be no Vikings stadium discussion at the next legislative session, Vikings owner Zygi Wilf responded Tuesday with the following statement: "We appreciate the willingness of Minnesota's state leaders to meet with the National Football League this week and address the state's stadium situation. The seriousness of the stadium issue has risen to a priority at the league level. The Vikings and the NFL understand and respect the priorities and pressing issues facing the state, but at the same time, the stadium issue needs to be resolved in the near future. Construction costs are rising significantly each year that we delay and there is an urgency to reach a solution. We are confident that state leaders and the Vikings will work together to reach a solution, just as many other NFL cities have done in recent years. We look forward to advancing the stadium issue during the 2008 legislative session."
* What to make of that statement? After years of saying the Vikings will never leave Minnesota, it seems relatively clear that Wilf is not going to be ignored forever and, if the state doesn't put its cards on the table some time soon, the clock can start ticking on the Vikings remaining in Minnesota. Seeing as it takes about four years to get a stadium from approval to opening, we're reaching a point of critical mass where the lease the Vikings have on the Metrodome can no longer be used as leverage by the state and the very real chance that the Vikings might relocate – with the league's blessing – is looking much more likely than it did just a week ago.
* 49ers quarterback Alex Smith did some light throwing Tuesday and will be evaluated during the week, but at this point, he looks to be out for Sunday's game with the Vikings.
* The Rams are expected to announce today that they have signed former Vikings backup Todd Bouman to a contract.
* Former Vikings safety Robert Griffith worked out with the Giants Tuesday.
* Lions WR Roy Williams, who missed time previously after being injured at games in the Metrodome, struck again. He has a sprained right posterior cruciate ligament suffered Sunday and might miss the rest of the season.
* The rest of the league may look on with interest at Travis Henry's winning of his appeal for a positive drug test. When Henry, who was facing a year-long suspension from the Broncos for a third violation of the league's substance abuse policy, claimed there was a false positive test, most didn't believe him. But he agreed to polygraph tests and hair samples so the Broncos could have faith that he wasn't lying and coach Mike Shanahan backed him up. The secret NFL testing policy is likely to come under much more scrutiny as a result of Henry winning his appeal, and future positive drug tests may result in more legal battles between players and the league than there have been in the past.
Allison Named Special Teams P.O.W.
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