Jared Allen calls it ‘very humbling’ being named to Vikings Ring of Honor
Allen will be the 27th inductee into the Ring of Honor
The Vikings have had a knack in recent years of making surprise announcements to Ring of Honor inductees. They’ve had success in luring Randy Moss, Ahmad Rashad, Steve Jordan and Kevin Williams to the Twin Cities and then giving them the news.
The latest to be surprised was former star defensive end Jared Allen, who had been scheduled to be in the Twin Cites on Friday and Saturday for a Salvation Army event and was invited to speak to the team Friday after a training camp practice at U.S. Bank Stadium. The Vikings then put a video on the scoreboard announcing he would be the 27th inductee into the Ring of Honor.
“No idea at all,’’ Allen said Saturday about what would happen Friday. “Very humbling. Probably the only way they could get me to go back to training camp again. … I was completely shocked. It was already a great honor to come and speak to the team… Wish my wife and kids could have been here for the original surprise, but of course they’ll be here for the big celebration in October.”
Allen, who played in the NFL from 2004-15, including 2008-13 with the Vikings, will be inducted at halftime of an Oct. 30 game at U.S. Bank Stadium against the Arizona Cardinals. He said he that “hopefully they put me right next to” Kevin Williams.
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Williams, a Vikings defensive tackle from 2003-13 and one of Allen’s best friends, was inducted into the Ring of Honor last year. Williams joked he has a “a one up on” Allen.
“You guys should have put me in before him,’’ Allen said with a laugh. “Then I could have held that over his head.”
Allen had three of his four first-team All-Pro selections, made four of his five Pro Bowls and had 85 ½ of his 136 career sacks with the Vikings. He became the seventh Minnesota defensive lineman named to the Ring of Honor.
Allen said he is honored to be alongside “every single” member of the Ring of Honor. But he did single out one.
“I have a special place in my heart for Jim Marshall,’’ Allen said of Marshall, a Vikings defensive end from 1961-79. “Jim was one of the first alumni legend so to speak that I got to connect with when I first got here.”
Allen on Friday spoke to Danielle Hunter. He said that the Vikings star edge issued a challenge.
“He told me he was coming for the record,’’ Allen said of his team mark of 22 sacks in 2011. ‘Hey, come get it. I’ll be on the sideline cheering you on.’ ’’
Hunter, who had 14 ½ sacks in both 2018 and 2019 before playing in just seven games over the past two seasons due to injuries, was asked after Saturday’s practice about what he said to Allen.
“I’m a man of action,’’ Hunter said. “I’m not man of words. I’m a man of action. That’s all I’ve have to say about that.”
Allen lauded the ability of Hunter.
“If he stays healthy, I think he can be one of the all-timers,’’ Allen said. “Just the way he moves his body, his strength and size, he reminds me a lot of Julius Peppers.”
DAVIS BACK AT PRACTICE
Jesse Davis returned to practice after sitting out Friday to rest his right knee. He continued to take first-team snaps at right guard.
Davis has had previous issues with his knee. Head coach Kevin O’Connell said the Vikings have “a plan for him” to make sure they are not “taxing his body to the point where we could possibly have something flare up.”
Davis wore a brace on his knee during warm-ups Saturday and then had a sleeve on during practice. Offensive coordinator Wes Phillips named Davis, Chris Reed and rookie Ed Ingram in the battle to start at right guard.
“Jesse’s such a veteran,” Phillips said. “He’s been in so many systems that he’s done a lot of things a lot of different ways. Probably picked it up a little bit faster in the new system.”
FIRST DAY WITH FANS
Saturday marked the first day fans were on hand for a practice during training camp.
“Most definitely it made a difference, because when the fans are out there, it’s a level of energy,’’ defensive tackle Dalvin Tomlinson said. “It kind of felt like a home game for the most part.”
After the practice, Vikings players threw footballs into the stands.
“I threw my shoulder out a little bit,’’ Tomlinson said with a laugh.
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