Abdullah had the best game by a Lions running back in nearly four years, but couldn't finish the contest after rolling his right ankle early in the fourth quarter.
Abdullah said his ankle felt "good" after the game, and he's expected to be fine for this week's showdown with the NFC South co-leading Carolina Panthers.
On Sunday, Abdullah set career highs with 20 carries and 94 yards rushing, giving the franchise hope that he's headed for the breakout season many thought he was due for last year before suffering a season-ending Lisfranc injury.
"We know his capabilities, the type of talent that he has," guard T.J. Lang said. "He's capable of doing that any time he touches the ball. It's our job to make sure our guys are staying off of him and we're opening up enough room for him to kind of squeeze through or make the guy miss."
Abdullah accounted for two of the Lions' eight longest plays Sunday, scored their first rushing touchdown of the season, and had just three plays that went for negative or no yards.
He said he wasn't aware how close he was to becoming the Lions' first 100-yard back since Reggie Bush on Thanksgiving of 2013 when he left the game with 12:49 to play.
"I expect certain things out of myself and I think you guys kind of know that, getting to know me these last three years," Abdullah said. "This game was solid, it was good to learn from. It's a good motivation that, hey, if we establish the line of scrimmage we can be good. But we're a long way off from where we can be every single game. So it was solid, not great. Definitely it was borderline good, but not great at all."
With 23 total touches (and one more incompletion thrown his way), Abdullah saw a bigger workload than normal Sunday as the Lions leaned on their running game to help keep the Vikings' stout pass rush at bay.
He may not duplicate that output in the weeks to come, but Abdullah said the "standard was set" Sunday for him and the running game for the rest of the year.
"We just moved the line of scrimmage," Abdullah said. "It's something that we always preach when we go into our run-game meetings is establishing a new line of scrimmage from where it started. Those guys did that consistently all night. When you create creases, we got backs who can hit the hole and make things happen."
--The Lions lead the NFL with a plus-nine turnover margin after three weeks, and are tied for the league lead with 11 takeaways. Last year, they forced just 14 turnovers all season.
"I think that's very important, obviously, not turning the ball over offensively and then able to get turnovers defensively, giving our offense more possessions," safety Glover Quin said. "You can continue on that trend and continue to do those things you're going to give yourself a lot of opportunities to win ballgames."
The Lions recovered three fumbles Sunday, with Quin forcing the final one when he punched the ball away from Adam Thielen near midfield with just under two minutes to play.
Quin is the only player in the NFL with two interceptions and two forced fumbles.
"You could tell he was going in with the intent of getting that ball out," head coach Jim Caldwell said. "And you usually don't get that kind of play from a guy who's concerned about where to line up and what to do. So he's playing fast. He's playing with an immense amount of confidence as well."
--Darren Fells, who had two catches in the Lions' first three games, caught a team-high four passes for 40 yards Sunday against the Vikings.
All four of Fells' catches went for first downs, and the veteran tight end played a significantly larger role than Eric Ebron as the Lions sought blocking help for their offensive line against a talented Vikings front.
Ebron remains the Lions' best pass-catching tight end, but he had two crucial drops last week and doesn't appear to be as trusted a player by Lions coaches. Fells, meanwhile, is a more well-rounded player than he appeared to be as a free-agent signing.
"Once we had him here, we had a chance to kind of look at his skill level both on the line of scrimmage inline, and also receiving, and he's got talent," Caldwell said. "I mean, you can kind of see, he's a big body, he's got nice hands, and he knows what to do with the ball when he gets it. I mean, those first downs that he was able to get were key. Battling for them, and driving forward and making a huge difference in the game. But you haven't seen the best of him yet. He's capable."
NOTES: LB Paul Worrilow reportedly suffered a sprained MCL on the Lions' first defensive snap Sunday and will miss multiple games. The Lions hope to have starting MLB Jarrad Davis back in the lineup this week, which could bump his replacement, Nick Bellore, to Worrilow's starting OLB spot. ... S Miles Killebrew, who grew up in Henderson, Nev., said six of his friends were injured in the mass shooting in Las Vegas late Sunday night. Killebrew, who had three tackles and two pass breakups against the Vikings, said all of his family members were safe. ... LS Don Muhlbach appeared in his 200th game as a Lion Sunday, tying Wayne Walker for third on the franchise's all-time list. Jason Hanson (327 games) and Dominic Raiola (219) are the Lions with more games played.
REPORT CARD VS. VIKINGS
--PASSING OFFENSE: D - Matthew Stafford took a pounding Sunday as he was sacked six times, completed 19 of 31 passes for 209 yards and threw three near interceptions. The Lions didn't have much success throwing the ball, save for a possession late in the first half when they drove just across midfield. Right tackle Rick Wagner gave up two sacks, left tackle Greg Robinson allowed a third and blocking tight end Darren Fells led the Lions with four catches for 40 yards. Marvin Jones caught a 38-yard pass in the first half, the only Lions' pass play that went for more than 16 yards.
--RUSHING OFFENSE: A-minus - The Lions averaged just 3.1 yards per carry, but they moved the ball successfully on the ground on their lone touchdown drive and dominated time of possession. Ameer Abdullah had a career day with 94 yards rushing on 20 carries and would have become the first Lions player to top 100 yards in a game since Reggie Bush in 2013 if not for a fourth-quarter ankle injury. The Lions weren't effective running the ball after Abdullah left as they had a net of zero yards rushing on five attempts in their four-minute offense.
--PASS DEFENSE: A-minus - Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen entered the game ranked 2-3 in the NFL in receiving yards, but the Lions kept both players in check Sunday, save for two coverage breakdowns against Diggs (five catches, 98 yards). Anthony Zettel had two sacks, including one with the Vikings in third-and-goal at the 3-yard line with just over two minutes to play. Darius Slay and Nevin Lawson did draw pass interference flags, but the Lions got strong games from safeties Miles Killebrew and Glover Quin, who punched loose a fumble on Thielen on the Vikings' final offensive play.
--RUSH DEFENSE: B-plus -- Dalvin Cook averaged a hefty 5.1 yards per carry before he tore his ACL in the third quarter. The Lions recovered two fumbles in the rushing game, one caused by Tavon Wilson on Cook on the play he suffered his knee injury. Ends Zettel and Ziggy Ansah did a solid job setting the edge, and Tahir Whitehead had a strong game at outside linebacker. But the Lions missed rookie Jarrad Davis in the middle of their defense.
--SPECIAL TEAMS: B - Matt Prater proved he was human by missing his first field-goal attempt of the season, a 60-yarder that fell short just before halftime. Jeff Locke, a former Viking, had an excellent day punting, netting 44.1 yards per kick (and dropping three punts inside the 20) against his old team. The Lions did have one breakdown in kick coverage against Jerick McKinnon, and didn't get much out of their return game. But Prater did make two other kicks and the Lions made good on a two-point conversion.
--COACHING: A-minus - Jim Caldwell and his staff are a big reason the Lions are 3-1 and tied atop the NFC North. The Lions aren't known for their rushing prowess, but they put together a solid offensive game plan Sunday to help offset the Vikings' ferocious pass rush. Defensively, Teryl Austin continues to get the most of a group that doesn't have many stars. And from an in-game management standpoint, Caldwell used his timeouts wisely in the first half to try and maximize a scoring opportunity, then forced the Vikings to spend theirs late in the game.