Originally posted on Fox Sports North  |  Last updated 11/17/11
EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. -- Jared Allen has done it all for the Minnesota Vikings' defense this season. Now he's helping out the special team's units too. Vikings' fans don't have to worry about the standout defensive end being exposed to injury on special teams. Allen's only been helping out in practice while long snapper Cullen Loeffler is out with a rotator cuff injury. "No touching the center in practice," coach Leslie Frazier joked about Allen handling the long snapping during practice this week. Allen was a long snapper while in college at Idaho State, but his pass rushing skills have kept him away from any special teams work in the NFL. Frazier said there was "zero chance" Allen would snap during Sunday's game. "He brags all the time about he's the best in the league and best in college when he came out," Frazier said. "He is. He's very good. (Punter) Chris Kluwe's commented a number of times how good he is. But not in a game, no. We want him rushing the quarterback." Loeffler was injured during Monday night's game at Green Bay. The Vikings hope Loeffler will be back in time for Sunday's home game against the Oakland Raiders. Frazier said he has an emergency list of players to call for a tryout if Loeffler can't practice this week, but he said Loeffler was feeling better on Thursday. "Cullen feels as if he's getting a lot better," Frazier said. "So we're going to try and get him some work tomorrow, which will be good for us." Frazier said the team could potentially work out short-term replacements on Saturday if Loeffler isn't ready to play. Other injuries of note: Coach Leslie Frazier said tight end Visanthe Shiancoe "tweaked" his hamstring during Thursday's practice, but didn't think the injury was serious. Linebacker Erin Henderson practiced in a limited capacity on Thursday, but still has tightness in his hamstring. Guard Anthony Herrera is still out with an injured knee and safety Husain Abdullah hasn't been cleared for practice while recovering from his second concussion in less than a month. "If we can't get him out here tomorrow then in all likelihood we won't have him for Sunday," Frazier said of Abdullah. "He's moving in the right direction, but we need him to work tomorrow to get a feel for whether or not he's going to be able to play." If Abdullah isn't available, Frazier has said Tyrell Johnson would start opposite Jamarca Sanford at safety with rookie Mistral Raymond also receiving time. Receiver Michael Jenkins was limited in practice with a knee injury. Quarterback Christian Ponder has practiced all week with a sore left hand. Ponder's hand was stepped on during Monday night's game, but X-rays showed there were no problems and Ponder said it's just been sore. "Overall I think we're in pretty good shape," Frazier said. Punt returner and cornerback Marcus Sherels missed Thursday's practice to attend a funeral for a family member. Cornerback Antoine Winfield had surgery on Wednesday for his fractured clavicle. Frazier said doctors told him the surgery went well and Winfield is facing three months of rehab.
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