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The 73 Million Dollar Question: Will Jared Allen Play Sunday?

This will definitely put a cramp in the ol' game plan if things don't improve in the next couple of days.

Defensive end Jared Allen did not practice again today as he rested his injured right shoulder. Allen continues to get treatment for a third-degree sprain, or seperation, that could keep him out of Sunday’s game against the Green Bay Packers. Coach Brad Childress said the team will see if Allen can do some things in Friday’s practice.

Asked if he was holding out hope, Allen said “that’s all on them,” in reference to coach Brad Childress and the Vikings medical staff. “I guess there is always hope but it’s not my call,” Allen said. “I’ve got two more days. I’m not really thinking about it. I want to hopefully just see how it plays out. And it’s not solely on me. If it was my decision, I think you guys know what my decision would be. But coach has to do what’s right for the team and [head athletic trainer] Eric Sugarman has to make sure he does what is right for my body.”

Allen injured the shoulder in the first half of last week's game against Houston.  He took an injection at halftime and played the entire second half without incident, finishing the game with two sacks and a forced fumble.

Nothing further has been announced as far as the diuretic case that the Williams Wall is looking at, so I'm guessing they'll play.  Although it wouldn't surprise me even a little bit if Roger Goodell announced at about 10 AM Central time on Sunday that #93 and #94 had to start serving their suspension effective immediately.  As the kids today might say, that's just how Roger Goodell rolls.

But without Allen in the lineup to get blatantly held all day long by Chad Clifton put some pressure on Aaron Rodgers, whether the two big DTs are in there or not, the task will be that much tougher.  Allen drew several penalties in the season opener between these two teams, and the Packers predicated their offensive game plan on rolling away from his side of the field when they threw the football.

Allen's shoulder sprain is graded as a "Class 3," which is basically the same thing as a separated shoulder.  (Our Southern Cal site, Conquest Chronicles, has an outstanding explanation of what a sprained shoulder consists of.)  We all know that Allen has the typical defensive lineman mentality when it comes to injuries (i.e. "if I'm not dead, I'm going to be out there"), but you have to wonder if even he can play with an injury this bad and still be effective.  As much as I'd love to beat the Packers on Sunday, it's one game in the stretch run.  Is it a big one?  Yes.  Is it a season killer if we lose?  I don't think so.

So, that's the bad news.  The good news concerning our matchup with the Packers is that a) the Packers still can't stop anybody from running the football, b) Ryan Grant (and the Packer running game in general) has been a colossal flop since he got his new contract, and c) the Minnesota passing offense is dramatically different today than it was on 9 September. . .and the Packers weren't exactly dominating that night, either.  Throw in the fact that Rodgers has never played in the Dome, and it appears that the Vikings might almost have an advantage here.

But if #69 on the field, it will increase any advantage the Vikings might have.