Injury bug infects the Vikings
Minnesota's superstar defensive end Jared Allen exited Tuesday's practice with a left ankle injury and will sit out tomorrow's practice. The injury occurred during team drills and Allen was seen limping off the practice field with his ankle heavily wrapped. For Vikings fans, the injury is a concern, but a small one at the moment. Head Coach Leslie Frazier noted that Allen will be evaluated by the team's Head Athletic Trainer, Eric Sugarman, to see if an MRI is necessary.
Allen carries the largest salary cap number ($16.88 million) on the roster, and heading into the last year of his contract without an extension, needs to prove to the organization that he still has the talent and drive that made him one of the most feared edge rushers in the league. Known for his unstoppable motor, Allen may need to replicate his 22-sack performance from 2011 to earn the extension he is rightfully-owed (in my opinion.) To do so, Allen must be healthy and aided by a stacked defensive line buoyed by Kevin Williams, Sharrif Floyd, and Brian Robison.
The injury also highlights the violent, brutal nature of training camp, the NFL, and football in general. At any moment, a knee can twist, a helmet can bash against the ground, or a finger can get stuck in a face mask. Players use the offseason to train and prepare their bodies for the long haul of the NFL season, but most injuries don't occur on the Sunday gridiron. The torn ACL's, the concussions, and the season-ending injuries come during practice. Simple ankle injuries like Allen's emphasize the growing violent nature of the game, and highlight the importance of improving the safety and preventative measures required in the National Football League.