MANKATO — Vikings defensive end Jared Allen had offseason surgery on his left shoulder to repair a torn labrum. On Monday, the first day of full-pad practice at Minnesota State, the 10-year veteran said he feels better than he’s felt in two years.
“I feel great,” he said. “I feel young. I feel in shape. I feel good about continuing the process.”
Allen said he wanted to come to training camp without “any excuses or limitations.” He said he worked out the shoulder by swimming and lifting weights in the offseason.
As a veteran player, Allen said he’s not crazy about putting on the full gear for live hitting, but understands that it has to happen.
“It will be good to see where we’re at,” he said after Monday morning’s walk-through. “Pads are a necessary evil. You’ve got to get your body used to that kind of contact. And it will be good for the young guys to see where their technique’s at. It’s a very good evaluation tool.”
Most of the contact in Monday afternoon’s practice took place between Allen’s defensive line and the offensive line. Backs and receivers were not tackled to the ground. Head coach Leslie Frazier said today’s practice likely will feature more “live” action.
“It wasn’t that tough,” Williams said. “Tomorrow there will be a little more banging for us. ... You can’t fake those things.”
The only impressive hit of the afternoon was delivered by an offensive player. Undrafted rookie running back Bradley Randle popped cornerback Greg McCoy along the far sideline, drawing a collective “ooooh” from the crowd.
Fewer snaps for Williams
Frazier said he expects Williams’ game time to be reduced to 30 to 35 plays per game in his 10th season, as first-round draft pick Sharrif Floyd gets integrated into the lineup. Frazier said Williams, a six-time Pro Bowl selection, is capable of playing 50 or 60 plays a game but should get “higher-quality” snaps in all situations.