EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. Darrius Heyward-Bey Jersey
. -- The Minnesota Vikings announced Wednesday that cornerback Asher Allen has retired from football, a curious decision for a 24-year-old who was about to enter only his fourth NFL season. Coach Leslie Frazier didnt get into specifics of the conversation he had with Allen last week, but did say he was surprised by the decision by the former third-round draft pick, who would have been counted on to provide depth in the secondary this season. "I didnt see that coming," Frazier said after the team held an optional practice. "Everybody has to make decisions that they think are best for them." Allen was drafted out of Georgia in 2009. He started 11 games in 2010, but struggled last season as part of the Vikings banged-up secondary. He had four interceptions in his career. Allen suffered at least two concussions in his three years in the NFL, including one last season. Concussions have become a front-burner issue in professional football in recent years, with hundreds of former players suing the league alleging it turned a blind eye to the long-term effects that head injuries can have. According to Frazier, Allen did not say whether it was related to injuries. The Associated Press left a message for Allen and his agent seeking comment. "He will talk about it more at some point," Frazier said. "He explained to me that this is something that he wanted to do and he had given it a lot of thought and that is what he wanted to do." Allen wasnt expected to compete for a starting position this season with the Vikings, but the physical cornerback was being counted on to play some in nickel and dime packages, especially early while rookie Josh Robinson got up to speed. Allen started 21 games in his three-year career, including nine starts as he filled in the for the injured Antoine Winfield and the suspended Chris Cook. "We want depth, we want competition in the secondary and he definitely helped to provide that," Frazier said. "But that opens up another spot and well continue to comb the waiver wire. I know that (general manager) Rick (Spielman) and his staff are doing that and well try to see what well have by training camp." Philip Rivers Jersey
. -- Paul Mariners tenure as manager of the beleaguered Toronto FC didnt begin under the best of conditions. Carson Palmer Jersey
.C. -- Sprint Cup champion Rusty Wallace heads the group of five picked for the NASCAR Hall of Fame on Wednesday. Sebastian Janikowski Jersey
. Doctors have long known that physical activity can cause serious heart problems, but the new study helps to quantify that risk, Dr. Issa Dahabreh of Tufts Medical Center in Boston, whose study appears in the Journal of the American Medical Association. Ed Reed Jersey
. The move came one week after the 34-year-old was dealt from Detroit to Denver along with guard Chauncey Billups and reserve center Cheikh Samb for Allen Iverson. Tim Tebow Jersey
. Financial details were not released. The 21-year old Port Coquitlam, BC native completed a pre-season trial with the team in Bradenton, Florida and was also part of Canadas Under-23 squad that competed in CONCACAFs 2008 Olympic Qualifying tournament.PHOENIX - Falling behind has become a habit for the Phoenix Suns. In the last three games, so has winning. Steve Nash had 19 points, Marcin Gortat scored 14 and matched his season high with 17 rebounds, and the Suns won their third in a row with a 96-88 victory over the Sacramento Kings on Sunday night. In all three wins, the Suns rallied from double-digit deficits, something the franchise hadnt done since November 2002. Jared Dudley scored eight of his 14 in the fourth quarter, when Phoenix pulled away. Shannon Brown added 13, including consecutive 3-pointers in the decisive run to open the final period. Marcus Thornton scored 23 and Tyreke Evans 17 for Sacramento. DeMarcus Cousins added 16 points and 14 rebounds, but the Kings shot just 33 per cent in the second half to fall to 4-19 on the road. The three consecutive victories since the All-Star break, all at home, matched Phoenixs longest win streak of the season. Nash said the teams first-half struggles trace to its long layoff during the break. "We had seven days off, a lot longer than a lot of people," he said, "and I just feel like were still trying to shake the rust off in the first half of games. We feel a little better, a little more comfortable and make more plays in the second half." Overall, the Suns have won five of six. "We still arent starting great, but at least we are not starting ridiculously slow," Gortat said. We dont have this outstanding pace that we usually have in the third quarter, but were getting better." Browns 3s, followed by one from Dudley, capped a 15-3 Suns outburst to start the fourth quarter and Phoenix led 85-74 with 7:45 remaining. Sacramento scored the next eight to cut it to 85-82 on Cousins dunk from the baseline with 3:32 to play. Nash, though, followed with his second 3 of the night in as many tries to boost the lead back to 88-82. The teams traded baskets, then Evans sank a 12-footer to slice the lead to 90-86 with 2:29 to go. Grant Hill made a pair of mid-range jumpers and Dudleys 18-footer with 51.4 seconds left sealed it. "I think the thing that killed us was Shannon Brown, those 3s that he hit," Evans said. ";After that we could never really find a rhythm. Antonio Gates Jersey
. " Sacramento coach Keith Smart praised his teams defence. "Youre going to give up something," he said. "Youve got a great point guard whos going to make plays and find people. I thought our guys did a great job to maintain and do the things necessary, but we had a few breakdowns late." Phoenix coach Alvin Gentry liked the Suns defence, too. "But we didnt come up with the loose balls," he said. "We were right there defensively but we just need to complete the defensive possession." The Kings took a 32-29 lead after one quarter, then opened the second with a 10-2 run to go up 42-31 on Isaiah Thomas 16-footer with 9:15 left in the half. Phoenix cut it to 48-44 on Nashs runner in the lane with 2:24 to go and was down 52-47 at the break. Cousins had 12 points and 10 rebounds in the first half but managed only four points and four rebounds after that. He finished 7 of 20 from the field, 1 of 4 after halftime. Phoenix caught the Kings at 52-all with 9:59 to play when Cousins was called for a flagrant foul for throwing an elbow into Channing Frye on a layup attempt. Frye made both free throws. Sacramento took a 61-59 lead on Evans three-point play, but the Suns scored the next nine. Nash made a left-handed layup, was fouled by Evans and completed the three-point play to put the Suns ahead 68-61 with 4:01 left in the third quarter. The Kings outscored Phoenix 10-2 the rest of the quarter, though. Travis Outlaw blocked Sebastian Telfairs shot, then dunked the rebound at the other end of the court at the buzzer to give Sacramento a 71-70 lead entering the fourth. NOTES: The Suns played their sixth in a row at home, dating to before the All-Star break, and are in a stretch of 10 of 11 at US Airways Center. ... Thomas, who had averaged 17.1 points in seven games since becoming a starter, scored eight on 3-of-13 shooting. ... Referee Tre Maddox called a technical on Gentry in the second quarter. ... Sacramento got a technical on its second delay-of-game warning with 9:56 to play. ... Frye shot 3 of 12 for Phoenix. His backup at power forward, Markieff Morris, was 0 of 7. ' ' '