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Allen starts for Vikings despite shoulder injury

MINNEAPOLIS -- Minnesota Vikings defensive end Jared Allen was in the starting lineup Sunday against Green Bay despite being listed as doubtful with a sprained shoulder.

Allen did not practice on Wednesday or Thursday and did only light work on Friday while nursing the injury that occurred in the first half last week against Houston.

He received a pain-killing injection at halftime and played the rest of the game, getting two sacks in the second half to help the Vikings to a 28-21 victory.

Losing him would have been a big blow to one of the best defensive lines in football in a critical game as the Vikings (4-4) and Packers (4-4) kick off the second half of the season.

Allen signed a contract with more than $31 million in guaranteed money that made him the richest defensive player in the league after being acquired in a trade with the Chiefs. He hasn't disappointed in his first season in purple: Allen is tied for the team lead with seven sacks and has five in the last three games.

In the season opener at Green Bay, Allen was dominated by Packers left tackle Chad Clifton in a 24-19 loss. He was held without a sack or tackle in the loss.

Inactives for the Vikings included linebackers Erin Henderson and Dontarrious Thomas, both of whom have been relied upon heavily on special teams. Receiver Robert Ferguson also was scratched for the second game in a row.

There were no surprises on the inactives list for the Packers. Quarterback Aaron Rodgers (shoulder), cornerback Charles Woodson (toe) and Clifton (knees) all were listed as probable on Friday and were in the lineup Sunday.

Green Bay's inactives were cornerback Pat Lee, running back DeShawn Wynn, linebackers Brandon Chillar and Danny Lansanah, defensive end Jason Hunter, guard Allen Barbre and quarterback Brian Brohm.

Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press

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