(MCT) — CHICAGO — If the Chicago Bears have retribution in mind for Vikings defensive end Jared Allen, that’s up to the offensive line as far as Jay Cutler is concerned.
The NFC North rivals meet for the second time in three weeks Sunday at the Metrodome and Allen’s illegal block on Bears right guard Lance Louis resulted in a torn ACL in Louis’ left knee on Nov. 25 at Soldier Field, ending his season.
“The offensive line, that’s on them,” Cutler said Monday during his weekly appearance on “The Waddle & Silvy Show” on WMVP. “But we don’t want to hurt anybody. Hopefully they will take care of business and keep (Allen) off of me.”
Cutler said last week he had respect for Allen and doesn’t consider him a dirty player. Allen had 11/2 sacks Sunday in the Vikings’ loss in Green Bay and he has 81/2 for the season, well off pace for the 22 he had in 2011. He admitted after the game he has been playing with a torn labrum in his shoulder.
Sneaky stuff: Coach Lovie Smith said the Bears have not removed the quarterback sneak from the playbook, even though it is a play that would expose Cutler to being hit in the helmet by a number of defenders. The Bears needed less than a yard on fourth-and-1 from the Seahawks’ 15-yard line in the second quarter when running back Michael Bush was stuffed for no gain.
“You can’t go on that,” Smith said. “Jay is healthy and ready to play. If he had a problem with taking a hit or something like that, we wouldn’t be playing him. So, while he is out there we will do everything that we can to protect him.
“You keep all plays open. ... That play was a play we wanted to run in that situation.”
A little praise: Smith said the rebuilt offensive line “had great protection throughout,” a sign that the starting five could remain the same this week even with guard Chris Spencer possibly set to return from a knee injury. Smith also praised special teams. Kicker Robbie Gould had four touchbacks to give him 38, the sixth-most in the NFL and five shy of his career high from a season ago. Gould’s net kickoff average of 45.34 yards is No. 1 in the league.
Season’s greetings: Cutler told WMVP that the Bears “stole” wide receiver Brandon Marshall from the Dolphins, “so we should send them a Christmas card.”
(Chicago Tribune reporter Fred Mitchell contributed to this report.)