The Free Press, Mankato, MN

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August 6, 2013

Allen injured; defense getting banged up

MANKATO — Jared Allen wasn't going to play in Friday's preseason opener anyway, but after spraining his right ankle during Tuesday's afternoon practice, he could be out a little longer.

Allen suffered the injury to his right foot, the plant foot for a right defensive end, during the full team portion of practice. He limped off the field with a trainer and spent a half-hour in the trainers' tent.

After practice ended, Allen limped to the locker room with his ankle heavily bandaged.

Frazier said he hadn't told Allen that he wouldn't be playing Friday, but the injury makes it a moot point. Frazier said Allen will be checked by doctors to determine if an MRI is necessary.

Everson Griffen takes Allen's place in the base defense, and George Johnson, a third-year player, takes the right end spot in the nickel defense.

Safety Harrison Smith also injured his knee and will be evaluated, though he jogged off the field and into the locker room. Linebacker Erin Henderson (groin) participated in some of the practice but not the contact.

Cornerback A.J. Jefferson (ankle), linebacker Desmond Bishop (groin), cornerback Xavier Rhodes (hamstring) and defensive lineman Christian Ballard (groin) — all defensive players — missed practice. Frazier said he will evalaute the roster after today's practice to determine who would play Friday.

Defensive coordinator Alan Williams said his mantra is "next man up."

"We told them even before camp started, if someone happens to go down, if you’re young, you have to know your assignments and you’re expected to come in and compete and play well," Williams said. "I think that’s part of what makes us a good defense is that the guys know that if someone goes down, they’re expected to come in and not be the next guy, but be themselves and still play well."

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