Jared Allen (Tom Dahlin/Viking Update)
Jared Allen said he was just trying to make a play to help a teammate when he laid a blindside block on Chicago guard Lance Louis that ended the Bear’s career. Allen discussed the hit and $21,000 fine in-depth.
About the time the first replay was shown of Jared Allen’s hit on Chicago offensive lineman Lance Louis during an interception return by Antoine Winfield, the conventional wisdom was wasn’t whether or not Allen would be fined, but how much would the fine be?
As Allen made his way to his locker at Winter Park, the bad news was waiting for him today in the form of FedEx letter informing him that he had been fined $21,000 for the hit, which injured Louis’ knee and ended his 2012 season.
Three days after the incident, Allen remained adamant that he made a clean hit and it was never his plan to deliver a cheap shot that would injure an opponent.
“I was just making a block on an interception,” Allen said. “I never had an intention to hurt (Louis). He got hurt. Obviously, that was never my intention. (Antoine Winfield) is running up the sideline and he’s trying to make a play. You block the guy and sometimes bad things happen.”
Allen said he tried to reach out to Louis, but defended his actions, saying he was merely trying to set a block for Winfield as he was returning the interception for what Allen was hoping could be a touchdown.
“After the game, I sent my condolences to him and his family for the injury,” Allen said. “At that time, you’re just trying to make a play and spring the guy for a touchdown.
“I would have talked to Lance after the game if he would have been there,” Allen said. “I thought for some reason it was head and they said it was it knee.”
Asked if he thought the hit was justified, Allen hinted that there is a double standard that is in place in the NFL when it comes to fining players. Almost all fines for hits – legal or illegal – that are vicious are levied against defensive players and he contended that, had the roles been reversed, he’s not convinced there would have been a fine assessed.
“My opinion is if there was a defensive player and I was the player who was blocking him for a running back from the inside out, we probably wouldn’t be having this conversation,” Allen said. “It is what is. They fined me for it. They viewed it illegal, so you move on from it. But, like I said, there was no ill intent in it and my condolences to him and his family for the injury. You never want to injure anybody.”
Allen had time to set himself to make the block and went out of his way not to deliver the kind of shot that draws fines from the league. While he left his feet and launched himself, he was doing so in what he firmly believed was a legal fashion.
“I purposely hit him in the chest with my shoulder – I didn’t want to go to his head,” Allen said. “It’s just part of the game. It happens.”
Allen pointed out that he was injured in 2010 when Detroit offensive tackle Gosder Cherilus cut Allen’s knee out – a play that infuriated Allen to the point he hopped on one leg for 15 yards to try to chase down Cherilus. There wasn’t a fine levied on that hit, a play on which Allen still holds a grudge.
“This game is violent,” Allen said. “I’ve been on the other side of that. I got my knee knifed in Detroit a few years ago and the league didn’t find anything wrong with that. It happens. You’re not happy about. I’m sure he’s not happy. Nobody’s happy when somebody gets hurt, especially when it’s season-ending.”
As to whether he would appeal the fine, Allen is unsure because he just received the FedEx letter today and hadn’t read the particulars of it. However, it isn’t likely Allen will file an appeal because the letter of the law is pretty clear, even though Allen was unfamiliar with the particulars of the specific rule in play.
Allen kept a smile on his face throughout the grilling and, even though his next paycheck will be $21,000 lighter than expected, he kept his sense of humor in believing that there may be a bright side to not appealing it and getting it done before the anticipated financial cliff hits.
“The way the tax code is right now, I think we can still get a tax write-off for it,” Allen said.
John Holler has been writing about the Vikings for more than a decade for Viking Update. Follow Viking Update on Twitter and discuss this topic on our message boards. To become a subscriber to the Viking Update web site or magazine, click here.