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Updated: December 23rd, 2011 12:00pm
Vikings rule out Steve Hutchinson, Asher Allen because of concussions

Vikings rule out Steve Hutchinson, Asher Allen because of concussions

by Tom Pelissero
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In a week the NFL again ramped up its monitoring of concussion-related injuries, it's no surprise two Minnesota Vikings starters won't play six days after theirs.

The Vikings ruled out left guard Steve Hutchinson and cornerback Asher Allen for Saturday's game at Washington because of concussions they suffered in last weekend's loss to New Orleans. Both returned briefly against the Saints before departing for good and didn't practice all week.

Joe Berger is expected to start in Hutchinson's place, with rookie Brandon Fusco perhaps rotating in for a series or two. The Vikings plan to use a rotation at cornerback including Benny Sapp, Marcus SherelsBrandon Burton and Cedric Griffin, who hasn't played on defense since getting benched on Dec. 11 at Detroit.

Cornerback Chris Cook (not injury related) remains on paid leave and also is out. Everyone else on the Vikings injury report was listed as probable: safety Jarrad Page (hamstring), defensive tackle Kevin Williams (knee), right guard Anthony Herrera (knee) and linebacker Erin Henderson (illness).

The Redskins listed two players, tackle Jammal Brown (groin) and halfback Roy Helu (toe/knee), as questionable. Everyone else is probable.

• Saints C Brian de la Puenta was fined $7,500 for his chop block on Vikings DE Jared Allen in last week's game.

Tom Pelissero is Senior Editor and columnist for He hosts from 6 to 8 p.m. weeknights and co-hosts from 10 a.m. to noon Sundays on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.
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