A blindside block on an interception return cost Vikings defensive end Jared Allen a $21,000 NFL fine and cost Bears guard Lance Louis the rest of his season when he hurt his knee on the play. Now Allen is saying he’s sorry.
“I feel bad he got hurt,” Allen told the St. Paul Pioneer Press. “They viewed it illegal. You move on from it. There was no intent in it. My condolences to him and his family. You never want to injure anyone.”
Allen’s hit on Louis was a textbook example of the kind of hit the NFL is trying to crack down on: Allen launched himself directly at Louis’s head, and Louis didn’t see it coming and didn’t have an opportunity to protect himself. But while Allen does say he’s sorry Louis was hurt, he also used the incident as an occasion to repeat his previous claims that the NFL cracks down on defensive players while letting offensive players get away with cheap shots.
“My opinion is, if it was a defensive player and an offensive player blocking for a running back coming up the sidelines, we probably wouldn’t be having this conversation,” Allen said.
On that score, Allen is incorrect: An offensive player, Seahawks receiver Golden Tate, laid a very similar block on a defensive player, Cowboys linebacker Sean Lee, previously this season. And that block did generate plenty of conversation, and a $21,000 fine for Tate. The NFL isn’t always consistent in the way it administers justice, but the league has consistently made clear that coming back toward an opposing player to deliver a block to the head or neck area is going to result in a fine.