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Bears’ Smith criticizes Allen’s hit on Louis

Published: Tuesday, Nov. 27, 2012 9:44 a.m. CDT

(MCT) — CHICAGO — Lovie Smith doesn’t hold a personal grudge against Vikings defensive end Jared Allen from years past. Smith, however, didn’t hold back his opinion of Allen’s violent, blindside hit on Bears starting right guard Lance Louis on Sunday.

The Bears coach was asked Monday if he thought the play was unnecessary.

“Yes,” Smith said. “I did. Jared Allen plays the game a certain way, 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 him blocked a little bit differently. That’s about all I should probably say about it.”

Louis suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee and was lost for the rest of the season after Allen launched himself to block Louis following a Jay Cutler interception. Although Allen was not flagged for the play, he could be fined at the end of the week. A suspension seems unlikely.

NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said the league reviews “any play of that nature for potential discipline,” and a ruling could come down later this week.

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. My condolences to him and his family.”

Cutler shouldered some of the blame for Louis’ injury by saying he shouldn’t have put his offensive lineman in that position in the first place.

“I feel bad about the Lance Louis injury,” Cutler said during his weekly radio show on WVMP. “I missed that (pass). (That’s) on me, and things like that happen afterward.”

Center Roberto Garza initially thought Louis got hit in the back but wanted to see the replay again. Fellow offensive lineman Gabe Carimi figured Louis suffered a concussion on the play. Allen was not penalized.

New starting right tackle Jonathan Scott offered his take.

“It’s definitely a flag,” Scott said. “From my opinion, it was a defenseless hit.”

According to the NFL rule book, launching at a defenseless player is illegal if the offender (1) leaves both feet prior to contract to spring forward and upward into his opponent, and (2) uses any part of his helmet to initiate forcible contact against any part of his opponent’s body.

Defensive end Israel Idonije has been on the same side as Allen in terms of having to block a player following an interception. Still, Idonije saw no need for such a vicious blow.

“I saw the play. 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. Lance’s vision is clearly down the field. Allen hits him on his blindside.

“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.”

In turn, the Bears took a significant hit along the offensive line.

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