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Updated: September 23rd, 2012 4:37pm
Jared Allen suffers neck injury, but says he will be fine

Jared Allen suffers neck injury, but says he will be fine

by Judd Zulgad
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MINNEAPOLIS - Minnesota Vikings defensive end Jared Allen missed time in the second half of Sunday's 24-13 victory over San Francisco because of neck spasms he suffered after just missing a sack on 49ers quarterback Alex Smith near the end of the first half.

"My whole left side of my neck locked up on me," Allen said. "That's why I wasn't in that much in the second half. I was trying to play in between neck spams. But at the end, I told (defensive line coach Brendan Daly), 'I'm going to play until it breaks.' I was able to get in there. The problem was I couldn't see the ball really."

Allen said he, "he would be good to go," when asked if the neck might be an issue for him going forward. Allen referred to the neck injury as, "a little krink," and said he wasn't able to look to his left.

Allen did take a few snaps at left end in the second half, instead of his normal position on the right side, because that way he didn't have to turn his neck to the left as much.

"Coach did a good job," Allen said, talking about the second-half approach after he was injured. "He said, 'When you feel like you can go, go, give me what you've got.' I tried to play the left side a little bit but I figured I didn't want to have two guys out of position."

The NFL leader in sacks with 22 last season, Allen finally got his first of the year late in the game on a play in which Smith lost the football. It was recovered by defensive end Brian Robison. That enabled Christian Ponder to kneel down three times to kill the clock and end the game.

Allen thought he had Smith for a sack on the play that he injured his neck on, but the quarterback managed to pull away as Allen tried to bring him down and threw an incomplete pass.

"The hardest I've ever been hit in my life was by Alex Smith," Allen said. "I don't know what that was about. I don't know how he didn't go down. That's why I was laughing. On the last one, I barely get his arm and he goes down and he fumbles the ball. I blindside him and I fall and krink my neck." 

Judd Zulgad is a columnist for 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