The Chicago Bears complained about the blindside hit Minnesota Vikings defensive end Jared Allen put on right guard Lance Louis during an interception return Sunday.
And today they learned Louis will miss the remainder of the 2012 season with a torn ACL in his left knee. Louis, the team’s most consistent offensive lineman, has been placed on injured reserve.
Allen was not called for a penalty on the play. Vikings cornerback Antoine Winfield was returning an interception when Allen caught Louis from the side with a high shot that may have been to the head. Allen did launch himself into Louis and his knee was injured when he buckled to the turf. The play is expected to be reviewed by the NFL this week.
“Jared Allen plays the game a certain way, good player in our league,” Bears coach Lovie Smith said. “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 him blocked a little bit differently. That’s about all I should probably say about it.”
Allen defended himself after the game.
“I thought it was a legal hit,”’ he said. “He’s running to make a tackle, so I just went to block him. I never intentionally try to hurt anybody.”
Bears defensive end Israel Idonije also was critical of Allen’s hit.
“It wasn’t necessary,” Idonije said. “There have been a number of rules put in the game now that you can’t hit a defenseless player. At that point of the game, you can have easily (gone) shoulder to shoulder. You could have laid him out with just using his hands to his chest, a lot of options. … He hit (Louis) that way because he chose to hit him that way.”
The Bears will see Allen in two weeks when they meet again at the Metrodome.
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Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune