Vikings center John Sullivan confirmed Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh apologized after a questionable hit Sunday in Detroit’s 34-24 victory.
Suh’s low block on Sullivan drew a 15-yard penalty that negated a 33-yard interception return for a touchdown by DeAndre Levy in the second quarter.
“It was fine,” Sullivan said. “He said there was no intent to injure. It’s fine.”
So, too, is Sullivan, who, well behind the play, was hit on his surgically-repaired left knee by Suh, who claimed to have been aiming for Sullivan’s waist. The apology came with the teams coming out after halftime.
So did Sullivan believe Suh’s claim there was no ill intent?
“I think guys get caught up in the plays sometimes,” he said. “And sometimes things can happen. It’s hard to even remember what you do when you get caught up in the moment. So, I appreciate that he came up to me and said something.”
The NFL is reviewing the play for possible punishment, which could include a suspension, given Suh’s track record. In his fourth season, Suh has been fined five times. He also was suspended two games for stomping on Green Bay Packers lineman Evan Dietrich-Smith’s arm in 2011.
Sullivan, finished the game despite suffering a knee contusion, said he was sore, but expects to be at practice when the team gets back to work Wednesday.
Mind the gap
Vikings coach Leslie Frazier said much of Detroit running back Reggie Bush’s success on the ground and in the short passing game was due to Vikings defenders not getting off their blocks or staying in their gaps.
Bush, in his Lions debut, had 191 yards from scrimmage, better than 40 percent of the team’s total offense. Of that, 90 came on 25 carries. Bush caught four passes for 101 yards, including third-quarter dump/middle screen pass that turned into a 77-yard TD.
“We have to do a better job of getting in position for the screen,” Frazier said. “We needed guys to fit into certain positions and they didn’t. … That was the back-breaker. That play should not end up being a touchdown.’’
The same could be said of stopping the run, which proved difficult with Kevin Williams out because of a knee injury; Frazier said he hoped to have Williams back at practice this week.
Defensive end Brian Robison said the simple answer is better tackling, which he pledged would happen Sunday in Chicago.
“I know Coach Frazier probably doesn’t want me to say it, but in my mind, it’s a must-win game this week,” Robinson said.
Fullback Jerome Felton served the first game of his three-game suspension by watching Sunday’s game alone. Not easy, as he feels he could have made a difference.
“Of course,” he said. “Everybody feels they could make a difference.’’
Felton said he’s spending his time trying to stay in shape and up to speed in the meetings in order to hit the ground running when the suspension ends.
“I have to accept it,” he said of the suspension. “I have to turn it as much of a positive as I can.”
• Neither Frazier nor punter Jeff Locke were pleased with Locke’s NFL debut Sunday, one that included two short punts from deep in Vikings territory that led to Lions scores.
“I think my steps were off the whole game and I didn’t make the correction I needed,’’ Locke said. “It’s something I have to focus on this week.”
• Linebacker Desmond Bishop, who did not get into Sunday’s game, said the challenge is remaining patient while waiting for his chance to play.
“It definitely is a little tough,” he said. “I’m a competitor, and I feel like I can help the team. But that’s not really my call. I’m waiting for an opportunity.’’
• Guard Seth Olson (concussion) and defensive lineman D’Aundre Reed (knee) reached injury settlements with the team and are now free agents.