Tuesday, November 4, 2008
Black and Blue all over: Tough guy test
By Kevin Seifert
Posted by ESPN.com's Kevin Seifert
In classic football-coach mentality, Minnesota coach Brad Childress made clear that defensive end Jared Allen's availability for Sunday's game against Green Bay will be based on his pain tolerance.
Allen sprained the AC joint in his right shoulder during Sunday's 28-21 victory over Houston. He finished the game with the aid of a pain-killing shot, according to Yahoo.com, and on Monday, Childress told Minnesota reporters:
"Pain tolerance is usually what [determines] whether or not you are physically able to go. Some people are able to take it and some people are able not to take it. I'd say it has to do with that."
No one has ever mistaken Allen for a sissy, but such a direct comment from the coach in essence submarines him before he tests out the injury in practice. Allen had his arm in a sling during a television appearance Sunday night, and the Vikings won't let him play if he can't defend himself. But if it's truly a matter of pain tolerance and toughness, then Childress hasn't given Allen any leeway when it comes to determining his availability for the Packers.
Continuing a Tuesday morning jaunt around the division:
- Sean Jensen of the St. Paul Pioneer Press notes Childress hasn't defeated the Packers in five attempts during his tenure in Minnesota.
- Brad Biggs of the Chicago Sun-Times reports that quarterback Kyle Orton's recovery period from an ankle injury will be shorter than the initial four-week projection.
- Vaughn McClure of the Chicago Tribune suggests Orton could return in time for the Nov. 30 game against at Minnesota.
- Green Bay coach Mike McCarthy pointed out execution failures on a number of offensive plays in Sunday's 19-16 loss at Tennessee. According to Tom Silverstein of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, those plays included two drops by receiver Donald Driver, a poor release by tight end Jermichael Finley and poor routes by receivers Greg Jennings and Ruvell Martin.
- Packers offensive coordinator Joe Philbin wasn't happy with Finley's comments about a fourth-down pass he failed to catch in the first quarter, according to Rob Demovsky of the Green Bay Press-Gazette. "I could try to act smart and say there's some super special technique we had for that, but I mean, jeez, go get the ball," Philbin said. "If you're in the backyard, that's what you'd do. ... You have to go make the play." Finley said quarterback Aaron Rodgers needed to put more air under the ball.
- New Detroit quarterback Daunte Culpepper arrived at the Lions' practice facility late Monday afternoon, giving him about 150 hours to prepare for what is expected to be a start Sunday at Jacksonville. John Niyo of the Detroit News has details.