Will the DL be at full strength?

The Vikings got a favorable extension for the Williams Wall, but will the team's sack leader be able to play?

In or out? What's it going to be?

Those are the questions swirling around Vikings DE Jared Allen, who missed a second straight practice Thursday with an injured knee. Allen, who took a helmet to the knee from Lions rookie Gosder Cherilus, will be listed as either doubtful or questionable when today's injury report is released. However, he was confident Thursday that he could play.

If it was just about anyone else, you wouldn't be so certain that he would be willing to find a way to play, but Allen is strange specimen when it comes to playing through pain. He suffered a shoulder injury earlier this year that was said to be the most severe of the three levels of sprain and he didn't miss a game. After taking the shot last Sunday, he returned to action within a few minutes and played at his typical high level.

If it was someone else, there would be no guarantee that he would be in the lineup. But when it comes to Allen, nothing surprises us anymore. The man is earning his money and is a throwback to players of an era gone by.


  • The Bears rallied from behind for a field goal in the final seconds of regulation and another on the first possession of overtime to beat the Bears Thursday, meaning the Vikings can't clinch the division with a win Sunday at Arizona.

  • Four Vikings did not participate in practice for a second straight day on Thursday – Allen (knee), Gus Frerotte (back), Artis Hicks (elbow) and Darius Reynaud (foot).

  • The Cardinals were without LB Clark Haggans (foot) on Thursday, who missed a second straight practice. Wide receiver Steve Breaston remains limited with a rib injury.

  • Adrian Peterson finished second in Pro Bowl balloting for running backs with 666,442 votes. Clinton Portis led running backs with 767,817 votes – one of many Redskins who received the most votes in a ballot box-stuffing effort by ‘Skins fans. The teams will be announced Tuesday. Matt Birk was third among NFC centers with 198,097 votes. Steve Hutchinson was fourth in fan vote among guards with 249,683 votes. Allen was fifth among NFC defensive ends with 219,222 votes. Kevin Williams was second among defensive tackles with 242,950 votes and Pat Williams was third with 218,862 votes. Darren Sharper finished second in strong safety voting with 111,947 votes.

  • Brian Robison was back in practice Thursday for the first time since have an arthroscopic procedure on his right knee Dec. 2.

  • Daunte Culpepper was two TDs and two starts away from getting $1 million in bonuses from his contract signed with Detroit. But he was injured on the second-to-last play against the Vikings Sunday and likely isn't going to play the final two games – costing him a lot of money in the process.

  • The Packers suffered another blow this week, as the team placed offensive tackle Mark Tauscher on injured reserve.

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