Matt Vensel is in his first year at the Star Tribune after covering the Ravens for the Baltimore Sun for six years. He is a Pittsburgh native and a Penn State grad. Follow him at @mattvensel.


Mark Craig has covered the NFL for 23 years, and the Vikings since 2003 for the Star Tribune. He is one of 44 Pro Football Hall of Fame selectors. Follow him at @markcraignfl.


Master Tesfatsion is the Star Tribune’s digital Vikings writer. He is a 2013 graduate of Arizona State and worked for mlb.com before arriving in Minneapolis. Follow him at @masterstrib.


A low blow revisited

Posted by: under Vikings, Lions, Vikings players, Brett Favre, Cedric Griffin, Jared Allen Updated: September 16, 2009 - 7:17 PM

Vikings defensive end Jared Allen suffered a sprained left knee when Lions rookie right tackle Gosder Cherilus hit him low while he pursued down the line a pass play away from his side in a 20-16 victory in Detroit last season.

Cherilus, who was on his knees at the time, lunged at Allen's knee as he ran toward him. Allen fell to the ground and then had to be restrained from going after Cherilus once he got up.
 
Asked if he’s excited to face Cherilus again on Sunday, Allen said, “Ah, we’ll just see what happens out there.”
 
“Yeah, it stinks,” he then added. “My knee still clicks, but it is what it is. It’s a division game. You don’t really need any extra motivation to go over and try and whip someone’s butt.”
 
Allen primarily will face left tackle Jeff Backus, but it will be interesting to see what happens if he gets a few snaps on the left side against Cherilus.
 
Difficult assignment
 
The Vikings did a good job keeping Cleveland wide receiver Braylon Edwards in check last week (one catch for 12 yards) and now they face an even tougher challenge in Detroit's Calvin Johnson, who caught a 70-yard touchdown pass against the Vikings last season.
 
Cornerback Cedric Griffin summed up perfectly why Johnson is so difficult to defend.
 
"He's 6-5, 235 and [runs] a 4.3. Just think about that," he said. "That's tough for anybody to compete with. But we're going to go out there and do our best. ... He's going to make his plays. He's a tremendous athlete, great talent. All we have to do is eliminate the deep balls. If we can eliminate the 40-yard pass, the 50-yard pass and give him 5-yard passes, 10-yard passes, we're going to be fine with that."
 
In demand
 
How tough is it to find a Brett Favre’s Vikings jersey these days? Even the quarterback said he’s not sure it’s possible.
 
"I don’t think you can get any," Favre said. "Those are hard to find right now. I only say that because friends and family have asked if I can get them one. I said the only ones I have are the ones I play in."
 
Despite the fact Favre did not join the Vikings until Aug. 18, meaning sales of his new uniform top did not begin until that time, his No. 4 jersey proved to be the best-selling for any NFL player from April 2009 to the end of the preseason.
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