|Vikings DE Jared Allen is not supportive of expanding the playoffs by two to four teams. (US Presswire)|
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell announced this week that the league was discussing increasing the number of teams in the playoffs from 12 to 14 or 16. But Vikings DE Jared Allen said he didn’t think it was a good idea.
“It’s stupid. I think that’s a dumb idea,” he said. “The reason our league is so much better than other leagues is because of that competition -- every game means something. There are 162 games in baseball, you don’t really watch [every game]. Basketball’s the same way --there is no real significance on every game. I think you damage the sport if an 8-8 [makes the playoffs]. Now our games become less significant every week -- you can think, ‘I can lose half my games and still sneak into the playoffs.’ Now your division becomes not as important.
“I think the way our system is is great. With all these changes, it is not always necessarily a good thing. It probably is for owners, they make more money, and TV and all that good stuff, but at some point the identity of our league and what it stands on and why it’s so good is that every game means something. It’s tough, I have been on 10-6 teams and didn’t get in, but that motivated you for next year to win 11 games.”
Loadholt has a heavy load this week: The Rams defensive line is tied for the second most sacks in the league (39), and that presents a signficante challenge for the Vikings' offensive line.
“They’ve got a good front,” RT Phil Loadholt said. “Chris Long up front and James Laurinaitis on the second level -- they’ve got a pretty good defense that will give us some different looks and we’ve got to be ready for them.”
Keeping QB Christian Ponder clean will be a big test for the Vikings' offensive line, which has allowed 28 sacks and is ranked 16th in the league.
“[The Rams] do a good job of getting after the quarterback,” said Loadholt. “We’ve just got to make sure that we are on point with the things we’ve got to get done on the offensive line, and at quarterback and receivers in the passing game. We take care of those things Sunday, we should be alright.”
Sliding at Winter Park -- hence the name: Rookies Matt Kalil and Rhett Ellison took in a little sledding outside the Winter Park facility after practice Friday. Taping a segment for the Vikings in-house television program, the two former Southern California football players grabbed saucers and headed down a hill surrounding the practice field. Dressed in sweatpants and short-sleeved shirts, they took several runs and plenty of laughter could be heard.
For Kalil, it was his first time on a sled, but Ellison had done it before. In fact, afterward in the locker he was heard getting directions to Buck Hill for some tubing. Since team management had to clear this little excursion at Winter Park, Ellison may have a tougher time getting the go-ahead for a trip to Buck Hill.
Injury report: RB Adrian Peterson (abdomen) returned to practice Friday and did well, according to coach Leslie Frazier. He was listed as limited in practice and probable for the game.
CB Antoine Winfield was held out of practice to give his knee more time to rest. Frazier said that they would take a look at how he feels Saturday, but he is optimistic about him playing Sunday. Winfield was listed as questionable.
The remainder of the players listed on the team injury report are listed as probable for the Rams game: CB A.J. Jefferson (concussion), LB Jasper Brinkley (shoulder), RT Loadholt (knee), LG Charlie Johnson (ankle) and TE Kyle Rudolph (shoulder), DE Allen (shoulder), CB Robert Blanton (neck), DT Letroy Guion (shin) and P Chris Kluwe (left knee and right groin).
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