Game tense as Cherilus hits Allen in knee, Norris ejected for swipe at Harris

DETROIT -- Tempers flared after Detroit rookie offensive tackle Gosder Cherilus lunged from his knees to hit Minnesota defensive end Jared Allen on his left knee.

Allen slowly got off the turf in the second quarter and angrily limped toward Cherilus, pointing and screaming, before teammate Ray Edwards held him back.

"Obviously I was pretty upset," Allen said Sunday after Minnesota beat Detroit 20-16. "Stuff happens. I take care of it on the field."

Allen went to the sideline, where his left knee was examined.

"The knees are a sacred thing in this league," Allen said.

On the next play, Detroit fullback Moran Norris was ejected for swiping at linebacker Napoleon Harris after they tangled.

Allen returned to play on Detroit's next possession and helped the Vikings stay within three points of the winless Lions at halftime.

Allen was hurt when he ran across the field well behind quarterback Daunte Culpepper and Cherilus knocked him down with a legal block that would be regarded by most as a cheap shot.

"I was just trying to make a play, really," Cherilus said. "It wasn't anything to be upset about.

"I get paid by the Detroit Lions so it's my job to protect, do whatever I got to do. I don't care what it takes to protect my quarterback, play for my teammates and be in a position to win. That's what I want to do."

Allen finished with two sacks, giving him 12½ this season to break a team record. Keith Millard had 11 in 1986.