Jared Allen didn't see the Vikings freefall coming. He never could've predicted a team that nearly reached the Super Bowl last season would be without a permanent head coach after Brad Childress was fired, without a home after the Metrodome's collapse, and without a quarterback heading into Monday night's game against the Bears.
As of now, the plan is to play the game at TCF Bank Stadium, home of the Minnesota Gophers.
"It's a good thing I'm not a betting man," Allen told reporters during a conference call with Chicago media. "I would have lost a lot of money, saying we're going to make the playoffs this year.
"It's been a shock, man. It really has, going from being a play away to going to a Super Bowl to not going to the playoffs and losing a head coach and just kind of a lot of the turmoil around here. But it's a learning process. It is what it is. You just got to put your nose down and make sure you're doing the right things and put your best effort on tape, week in and week out."
The Bears could clinch the NFC North with a Packers loss to the Patriots on Sunday coupled with a win over the Vikings on Monday night.
"You don't want to be the team that allows a team to win something," Allen said. "We're out here to spoil everybody's parade, and I think it's important for us to strive to get to 8-8. You have to find something positive in this mess and strive for it. One big thing is, we got the Chicago Bears, a division rival coming in, not necessarily our home field but our home state. We need to put on a good performance for our fans."