The Minnesota Vikings honored former superstar defensive lineman Jared Allen on Sunday as the team took on the Arizona Cardinals.
Allen, who was a finalist for the 2021 Pro Football Hall of Fame and narrowly missed the induction into Canton, was named to the Vikings’ Ring of Honor. He made an entrance in a way only he knew how.
Riding a horse.
When Allen initially retired after the 2015 season, he posted a video of himself riding “into the sunset.” He would sign a one-day contract to retire with the Vikings. He spent six years in Minnesota after the team acquired him from the Kansas City Chiefs. He earned four Pro Bowl selections and was named First-Team All-Pro three times in the purple and gold. He tacked up 85.5 sacks and 329 total tackles in that span.
On Sunday, he made an appearance at U.S. Bank Stadium riding the horse and wearing a black cowboy hat.
KIRK COUSINS, DALVIN COOK PROPEL VIKINGS TO BIG WIN OVER CARDINALS
“This is where I wanted to be,” Allen said, via FOX9. “When I asked to be traded, this is where I wanted to come. I knew about Kevin and Pat (Williams) and the defense that was here. I knew about Adrian (Peterson), I knew the potential was here, that’s why I wanted to come. It was the commitment they were showing to me, that’s what was lacking in Kansas City. I just wanted to play for an organization that believed in me as much as I believed in them.”
During the game, Cardinals defensive end J.J. Watt did a cattle-roping routine when he sacked quarterback Kirk Cousins. Some fans thought it was a slight at Allen, but Watt made clear it wasn’t.
“I also want to clear up – clearly the fans here misinterpreted my Jared Allen tribute,” Watt told reporters, via ESPN. “Jared Allen’s one of my favorite players of all time, and that was absolutely a way to honor him on his night here. Zero disrespect. I would never disrespect him. I have a lot of respect for Jared Allen, so I hope that clears that up.”
Minnesota held on for the win, 34-26.
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