Big hit knocks Frerotte down, not out

A hit that Gus Frerotte called a "cheap shot" sent him to the carpet, but he returned to the game and tied an NFL record with a 99-yard touchdown pass shortly after that. See what Frerotte had to say about the hit and the prime time pass, along with other notes and quotes from the game.

Gus Frerotte has taken a lot of hard hits this season on sacks and just after releasing the ball, but one he took from Bears DE Adewale Ogunleye resonated with the 37-year-old quarterback.

Frerotte called the hit a "cheap shot" and said he was already relaxing after throwing the ball to Bobby Wade. Then came a forearm to the back of the head from behind that flattened Frerotte to the ground.

"It was really late. I was waiting to see what happened with the ball to Bobby, and then the next thing I know I'm just lying on the ground. It threw me for a little bit of a loop because you're not expecting it in that situation," he said.

Frerotte lay on the ground for more than a minute. He said he wasn't knocked unconscious but he was "woozy."

The second-quarter hit didn't draw a flag from the officials, but it could draw a fine from the league for Ogunleye, just like Vikings defensive ends Jared Allen and Ray Edwards have paid $100,000 in fines this season for hits that the league deemed to be late or in restricted areas on the quarterback.

Since it was a third-down play, after Frerotte was attended to and walked to the sidelines, the Vikings sent Ryan Longwell on for a field goal to give the Vikings their first points of the game. Had a penalty been called, the Vikings would have had first-and-goal at the 2-yard line.

"You know what I've said about Gus before is that he is a tough guy and the quarterback position is one of the toughest positions because you can't really defend yourself back there. You've got to be tough mentally and tough physically and he's both," Vikings coach Brad Childress said.

Turns out, Frerotte played better after the big blow. He set up a record-setting play by looking off one safety, having a cornerback make a play on a shorter route by TE Visanthe Shiancoe and then unloading a bomb. Following a three-and-out series after his big hit, Frerotte connected on the longest passing play in Vikings history – a 99-yard touchdown to former Bear Bernard Berrian.

"It was a lucky play, it's the luckiest play I've ever had," said Berrian, who finished the game with four catches for 122 yards. "(Cornerback Charles Tillman) bit and went to make the play on Shiancoe. Gus said he looked to one side then came back to the other side. He said he was surprised how open I actually was.

"Just a straight go ball. We've wanted to have the chance to run that play since the beginning of the season. The defense made a great stand down there to get us the ball back and Gus let it fly."

Frerotte said that after he let go of the ball a few thoughts crossed his mind: Please let the pass be in the right spot and why is Berrian so wide open?

Cornerback Charles Tillman came off of Berrian to help with coverage on Shiancoe, which made Tillman play catch-up on Berrian. That gave the Vikings a 10-7 lead, their first lead of the game and one they never surrendered.

"Football is a game of momentum and that was definitely a momentum shifter on their part," Tillman said. "The momentum was in their favor. We got it back a little bit and couldn't sustain it all the way. I think we fought hard but they just fought harder. You have to give credit when credit is due. They deserved to win that game. We went out there and I thought we played hard but they just played harder."

Maybe it was Ogunleye's hit that inspired the team. Even some of the Vikings' defensive linemen said the hit Frerotte endured inspired them. But it might just have given Frerotte a needed shot of adrenaline.

"Sometimes that happens. I don't know what it is. Sometimes those cheap shots tick you off pretty good and you want to play well and show them that no matter what you do to me or my team we're going to play through it," Frerotte said. "That's just kind of typical of our team. We had a tough go and a tough road at the beginning. You get through it and good things happen."

A STARCAPS CONCLUSION?

Jay Glazer reported on Fox Sports Sunday morning that the league is expected to make a ruling on Tuesday morning on the NFL players who were suspended for positive tests for the substance Bumetanide. That list of seven NFL players includes Pat Williams and Kevin Williams of the Vikings. But there is encouraging news in Glazer's report for the Vikings.

According to Glazer, the players believe that the NFL knew that there was an illegal substance in the diet pill Starcaps and it withheld that information from players and the NFL Players Association. If they are suspended, the players will likely sue the manufactures of StarCaps and the NFL, according to Glazer.

COOK STARTS AGAIN

Offensive tackle Ryan Cook returned to the starting lineup after being benched last weekend against Jacksonville for the first time in nearly two years.

Artis Hicks was inactive Sunday night because of an elbow injury he suffered last week.

"Without seeing the films, I thought he took a very good approach to practice this week," Childress said of Cook after the game. "We talked about when he was replaced that we didn't know if it was going to be just a play, a series, a game, two or three games. It just so happens it was just a week. I thought he took a great approach to practice and it got him to play on the field."

NOTES

  • Playoff ticket prices will be announced and invoiced early this week in the event the Vikings do make the playoffs.

  • Vikings defensive end Kenechi Udeze attended Sunday night's game. Udeze has been battling leukemia since he was diagnosed earlier this year and has been improving with each passing month.

  • Several Vikings greats were in attendance for John Randle's induction into the Vikings Ring of Honor, including RB Chuck Foreman and DE Carl Eller.

  • Punter Chris Kluwe entered the game ranked second in the NFC and fourth in the NFL with a gross punting average of 47.4 yards. Ironically, that is exactly what Kluwe averaged on punts Sunday night, getting three touchbacks, one inside the 20-yard line and a long of 62 yards in the process. Kluwe is on pace to break the Vikings single-season record, set by Bobby Walden in 1964, of 46.4 gross yards per punt.

  • The Vikings gave up two passing touchdowns to the Bears. Minnesota's defense entered the game ranked second in the NFC and fourth in the NFL with only nine passing TDs allowed on the season.


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