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Updated: November 28th, 2011 12:42pm
Cullen Loeffler out 2 to 6 weeks; Adrian Peterson's status up in air

Cullen Loeffler out 2 to 6 weeks; Adrian Peterson's status up in air

by Judd Zulgad and
1500ESPN.com
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EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. -- The Minnesota Vikings will have to bring in a new long snapper.

Cullen Loeffler suffered a lower-back fracture in Sunday's game at Atlanta and will miss two to six weeks, coach Leslie Frazier said on Monday.

Loeffler suffered the injury when Falcons receiver Kerry Meier delivered a hard block in the second quarter. He left the game, didn't return and was replaced by end Jared Allen, who is strictly the emergency guy and won't handle long-snapping duties for a full game.

"We'll have to take a look at maybe bringing someone in and working some guys out to determine who will be our long snapper during his absence," Frazier said.

Loeffler said he got blind-sided on the play on which he was injured.

"At the time I didn't think that it was," a cheap shot, Loeffler said of the hit. "Anytime a punt return is setting up like that you never know. It seemed to have been a legal hit. Now was it that close to the returner? I don't think that it was. But it's part of the game and that's what happens in returns like that. Unfortunately, you're vulnerable. Everyone is."

Loeffler won the Vikings' long-snapping job in 2004 and through last season he had played in all 112 regular-season games and five playoff games since that time.

That streak came to an end Sunday. Loeffler also showed up on the injury report two weeks ago after injuring his rotator cuff at Green Bay.

"I've been really fortunate throughout my career, to go seven years without even stepping foot in the training room," Loeffler said. "It's kind of like the old saying, when it rains it pours. It just seems for whatever reason I've been on the losing end of things lately."

In other injury news, per Frazier:

• Safety Tyrell Johnson has a "significant" hamstring injury, is under evaluation and likely will miss some time. Safety Husain Abdullah (concussion) continues to be evaluated after missing the past two games and could return to his starting role Sunday against Denver. If Abdullah remains out, rookie Mistral Raymond would be the logical starter.

• Receiver Michael Jenkins (knee) remains under evaluation and could miss time.

• Cornerback Asher Allen (shoulder) has an AC joint sprain and is day to day.

• Halfback Adrian Peterson (high ankle sprain) continues to make progress and coaches will know more on his status later in the week. "He is improving so that's encouraging for us," Frazier said.

Judd Zulgad is a columnist for 1500ESPN.com. He co-hosts "Mackey & Judd" from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. weekdays and "Saturday Morning SportsTalk" from 10 a.m. to noon on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.
Email Judd | @1500ESPNJudd | Mackey & Judd

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