EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. — After being levied a hefty fine for his blindside hit on Sunday, Minnesota Vikings defensive end Jared Allen again said he didn’t try to injure Chicago Bears lineman Lance Louis in last week’s game.
Allen, who was fined $21,000 by the NFL according to a source, said he was just trying to make a block for cornerback Antoine Winfield following an interception when he knocked Louis out of Sunday’s game and ended his season. Louis was put on injured reserve Monday with a knee injury.
“Like I said before, never intended to hurt a guy,” Allen said Thursday, speaking for the first time since after Sunday’s game. “I feel bad that he got hurt. That’s obviously never my intention, but I mean (Antoine’s) coming up the sideline and he’s running to make a play. You block the guy and sometimes bad things happen. So, like I said after the game, my condolences to him and his family for the injury. At that time you’re just trying to make a play and spring your guy for a touchdown.”
Allen wasn’t penalized on the play early in the third quarter of Minnesota’s 28-10 loss at Chicago, when he blocked an unsuspecting Louis hard, leaving his feet and burying his shoulder into Louis’ shoulder and head and knocking Louis to the ground.
Allen, who said he was purposely trying to hit Louis in the chest with his shoulder, said he just received word of the fine and hadn’t had the chance to read the letter or speak with his agent. Allen said he wasn’t sure if he would appeal the fine, but said it was a possibility.
“It was a blindside,” Allen said. “I don’t know how you appeal it. The definition I heard was because I was facing my own goal-line or something. I don’t know. I don’t know the rule that well. I just know I’ve got a guy running up the sideline and we’re taught to block people. I’ll talk to my agent and see. I guess you always try to appeal it to see if, but whatever. At this point, I’ve got to focus on Green Bay and I’ll let the power that be handle that.”
Regardless, Allen felt he was making a football play and didn’t seem pleased to be hit with the fine.
“My opinion is if it was a defensive player and an offensive player was blocking for a running back down the sideline we probably wouldn’t be having this conversation,” Allen said.
“But, it is what it is. They fined me for it. They viewed it illegal. You move on from it, and like I said, there was no ill intent in it and again, my condolences to him and his family for injury. You never want to injure anybody. But it was what it was and you move forward.” The Bears felt Allen went over the line with the aggressive play.
“Yes, I did,” coach Lovie Smith said Monday, according to the team’s website. “Jared Allen plays the game a certain way. He’s a good player in our league. But I think there are some plays when you look at them again you say, ‘Hey, we could have done without that.’
“I think our game could do without that play. We have an injured player right now based on it. I think you could have gotten a block a little bit differently. That’s about all I should probably say about it. I’m sure the league will look at it and they’ll give an opinion about what they think.”
Allen, who isn’t known as a dirty player, has taken issue with certain plays in the past with Detroit Lions tackle Gosder Cherilus for a few low blocks at Allen’s knees, one of which started a brawl between the two teams in 2010. Allen still holds a grudge against Cherilus, telling a reporter earlier this season he respects 99.9 percent of players in the NFL, but Cherilus was part of the .01 percent.
“This game is violent,” Allen said. I’ve had that. I’ve been on the other side of that. I got my knee knifed in Detroit a few years ago. The league didn’t find anything wrong with that. But it happens. You’re not happy about it. I’m sure he’s not happy. Like I said, nobody’s happy that somebody gets hurt, especially if it’s season-ending. That’s never my intent. You’re just trying to make a play and this game is violent.”
Allen said he didn’t get the chance to talk to Louis after the game, but stressed to Bears teammates that he meant no harm. He added he doesn’t expect any retribution when the two teams meet again next week.
“I would have talked to Lance after the game if he would have been there,” Allen said. “I immediately asked (tackle J’Marcus) Webb if he was OK and they told me it was his knee. I thought for some reason it was his head. They said it was his knee, told everybody, ‘Hey, my bad. You never want to injure anybody’s knee.’ I don’t expect any. If they do, it is what it is.”
It’s the fourth time a Vikings player has been fined the $21,000 total, one of the highest figures handed out this season.
Rookie safety Harrison Smith was fined $21,000 in the preseason for a hit on a defenseless receiver. He also was hit with a $15,750 fine for a horse-collar tackle on Washington quarterback Robert Griffin III. Linebackers Chad Greenway and Jasper Brinkley have also each been fined $21,000 for helmet-to-helmet hits on Detroit receiver Calvin Johnson, with each occurring in separate games this season.