By Michael Rand
We will admit to having a certain amount of Jared Allen fatigue before this season started, particularly while listening to a certain local sports talk radio station from 9 a.m. to noon. But we will also now say this: any naysayers are fools. The guy has 7 sacks through eight games and has pretty much been as advertised: a fierce pass rusher with a relentless motor who makes the players around him better. Kevin Williams has been a beast in the middle, and Ray Edwards was the recipient of a gift this past Sunday when Allen flushed a sack right into his lap. He also makes opposing coaches furious. In short, he’s the kind of guy you love to have on your side and hate to play against. And now we learn that Allen has a sprained shoulder and played much of his two-sack game against the Texans with it. There is a possibility that it will keep him out of the Packers game. To us, this is perfect timing. This is where Allen cements his reputation in Minnesota, one way or another. We’re not suggesting he should play through an injury that could get worse; we’ll leave that to him.
The decision on Allen’s availability could come down to his pain threshold, which apparently is very high given that he continued to play Sunday. “Pain tolerance is usually what [determines] whether or not you are physically able to go,” Childress said. “Some people are able to take it and some people are able not to take it. I’d say it has to do with that.”
Allen was at Winter Park on Monday receiving treatment but did not speak with reporters. During an appearance on KSTP-TV (Ch. 5) Sunday night, he had his arm in a sling but said he would play against the Packers.
So there you have it. If Allen plays, and plays well, and the Vikings defeat the Packers, this is where the money becomes worth it to the vast majority of fans. If he guts it out but is ineffective, some folks will turn on him. If he doesn’t play at all, fair or not, he will get an altogether different label. It’s a huge game for both teams, and a gigantic game for one player. We’re guessing he’s up to the task, but we’ll find out for sure as the progressing week culminates Sunday.
(Oh, and sorry for the late start today. Voting and stuff).
Fasola-link! Let’s go to a NASCAR race.