Vikings Add Reisner To Practice Squad; Injury Notes

Posted by Mike Wobschall on October 5, 2011 – 3:33 pm

The tweaked their roster on Tuesday by adding FB Ryan D’Imperio to the 53-man roster and clearing room for him by waiving TE Allen Reisner. On Wednesday, the Vikings added Reisner back to the team by placing him on the practice squad.

The Vikings returned to the practice field on Wednesday to begin on-field preparations for the Arizona Cardinals. The return to the practice field means the return of injury reports.

Three Vikings – P Chris Kluwe (hamstring), C John Sullivan (ankle) and CB Antoine Winfield (neck) – did not participate, while four others practice on a limited basis. The 4 players who were limited were S Husain Abdullah (pelvis), LB E.J. Henderson (knee), T Charlie Johnson (elbow) and S Jamarca Sanford (knee).

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Can Jared Allen Record His 100th Career Sack In 2011?

Posted by Mike Wobschall on October 5, 2011 – 8:20 am

Through the first 7 games of the 2010 season, it looked like Vikings DE Jared Allen was at least a couple seasons away from reaching the impressive career milestone of 100.0 sacks. After consecutive seasons of 14.5 sacks in 2008 and 2009 to give him 72.0 for his career, Allen had just 1.0 midway through the 2010 campaign.

But then Allen went on a complete rampage. And he’s still going. Allen registered at least a .5 sack in 8 of the last 9 games of 2010, and he’s done the same in all 4 games of the 2011 season. His streak of games with at least a .5 sacks is at 6 now, and the franchise record is 8 (held by Jim Marshall and Carl Eller).

Allen began his career in Kansas City, spending 4 seasons there and accumulating 43.0 sacks. Then the Vikings acquired him via trade, and he’s come through in a huge way by tallying 46.5 regular season sacks in 3+ seasons, including 6.5 this season. So in total, Allen has recorded 89.5 career sacks in the regular season. When you add in his postseason sacks, Allen is at 92.5 for his career.

When Allen is recognized for recording his 100th career sack, it’ll be for his 100.0 career regular season sacks. Why they don’t include postseason sacks is a little confusing, but they don’t. That means Allen is officially 10.5 sacks away from 100.0 for his career, but technically he’s 7.5 away from 100.0 (if you include his 3.0 postseason sacks).

If Allen gets his 100th career (regular season) sack in 2011, it’ll be his 17th sack of the season, which would be a career high. But it’s not out of the question that Allen could record his career high in sacks this season, especially when you consider that’s he had 4.5 sacks through the first 4 games of the season just one other time in his career (2009).

Going back to the question…can Allen get his 100th career sack this season? He’s officially 10.5 away, with 12 games to go. Keep in mind the Vikings have 6 home games remaining, he’s on the best early-season pace of his career and he had the best training camp of any Vikings player. Also, I’ll throw in another factor: Allen has 5.5 sacks against Arizona in his career, which the most he has against any non-NFC North team.

What do you think Vikings fans? Will Allen get to 100 this year? I think he will, and I think it’ll come in the final week of the regular season against Jay Cutler and the Chicago Bears.

Let us know what you think by leaving your thoughts in the comments section below this entry…

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Assessing The Arizona Cardinals

Posted by Mike Wobschall on October 5, 2011 – 6:47 am

Looking to log their first win of the season, the Vikings will head back to Mall of America Field this weekend to host a familiar foe in the 1-3 Arizona Cardinals. The Vikings and Cardinals aren’t in the same division, of course, but they’ve been regular adversaries since the 2006 season, with this weekend’s matchup marking the fourth in as many seasons and the sixth since 2006.

Another reason the Cardinals may seem familiar is because they’ve arrived at this point of the season in similar fashion to the Vikings. While the Cardinals have already collected their first victory, they’ve also lost 3 games and in all 3 games they’ve been in position to win. Arizona lost an 8-point 4th-quarter lead on the road to the Washington Redskins, they held a 10-6 lead at halftime in Week 3 before Seattle came back to beat them, and then last week the Cardinals surrendered 21 fourth-quarter points to squander a 10-point lead in the 2nd half. Sounds familiar, doesn’t it?

Even more, Arizona’s struggles have manifested themselves on 3rd down offense, where they rank 28th with just a 29.8% conversion rate, and on passing defense, where they rank 26th in the NFL and are allowing 282.8 yards per game.

Overall on defense, the Cardinals rank 24th in yards allowed (388.3 per game) and tied for 12th in scoring (21.8 points per game), while offensively the Cardinals rank 18th in yards per game (352.5) and 19th in scoring (21.5 points per game). Also, Arizona is -1 in turnover ratio and has allowed 26 gains of 20+ yards (2nd-most in the NFL).

Through all of that, they’ve been in position to win each week and their average margin of defeat is the 3rd-smallest in the NFL at just 2.67, behind only Tennessee and Washington at 2.00 (the Vikings average margin of defeat is just 4.75 points).

So while Arizona comes in with an unimpressive record of 1-3, this is not an opponent to take lightly. Their offense features one of the best WRs in the NFL – Minnesota native Larry Fitzgerald – and then last week their running game came alive, as RB Beanie Wells carried the ball 27 times for 138 yards and 3 TDs. Arizona may not be lighting up the scoreboard, but they can be a balanced offense and they have an elite talent at WR, which will be a challenge for the Vikings secondary. Where the Vikings can strike against this offense is in the trenches. Look for either or both DE Jared Allen and DT Kevin Williams to win their matchup and either change the game or open up opportunities for others along the defensive line to make an impact.

Defensively, Arizona runs a 3-4 scheme and their front seven is pretty solid. Eight-year veteran DT Darnell Dockett is probably the best player up front for Arizona, and if not properly accounted for he can ruin the game for the opposing offense. DE Calais Campbell, who has 2.5 sacks this year, can flash and become a factor, and a sneaky-good player is LB Daryl Washington, who has 3 tackles for a loss, a sack and an INT on the season. In the secondary, CB Patrick Peterson is progressing into a very good player; he was their 1st-round pick last April. And you can’t forget about S Adrian Wilson, who is one of the League’s grittiest players and is the defensive leader.

One special teams note is that Arizona has just 5 touchbacks on 18 kickoffs (27.8%), which means there could be opportunities for Percy Harvin (and Lorenzo Booker) in the return game.

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Reminder: “Vikings Country” Featuring Jared Allen Is Live At Mall Of America Tonight

Posted by Ryan Cardinal on October 5, 2011 – 6:00 am

As is the case each Wednesday during the NFL season, fans can head to Mall of America tonight from 6:30 to 7 to check out “Vikings Country,” a weekly radio show hosted by Mike Mussman and co-hosted by either Jared Allen or Chad Greenway.  Tonight, Jared Allen is the co-host.

The show will be broadcast live from the Sky Deck Sports Grille and Bar at Mall of America – located on the fourth floor, east side – every Wednesday during the regular season and will air on KFAN (FM 100.3); the show will also be aired on Fox Sports North at 11:00 a.m. every Sunday. Allen and Greenway will alternate weeks as co-hosts of the show with Mussman, and the Vikings Street Team will be at each broadcast giving away great prizes.

Fans are encouraged to attend the live broadcast each week at the Sky Deck Sports Grille and Bar, where they will enjoy a state-of-the-art restaurant and entertainment facility that features high definition TV’s, quality billiards, 12 lanes of bowling and a great menu of beverages and food.

Allen will co-host on the following dates: tonight, October 19, November 16, November 30, December 14 and December 28. Greenway will co-host on the following dates: October 12, October 26, November 9, November 25, December 7 and December 21.

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