Jeff Looney’s low hit which injured defensive tackle Kevin Williams should have been just another unfortunate, yet ordinary play. Instead, it’s becoming a tipping point for the league.
After the NFL deemed Looney’s blocks legal, the league began looking inwards about readjusting its rules for blocks below the waist. Vikings defensive end Jared Allen has been the most outspoken about Looney getting off scott-free for what should have been an illegal hit. While Looney denied going low purposely, Allen isn’t buying it.
"My problem with this play is its intent," Allen told the USA Today on Tuesday. "He ducked down to hit him in the knee. It was intent to hit him in the knee, and if the league can't see that, they can fine me for this, because it's absurd."
The NFL protects its skill-position players, but the NFL’s lineman and big uglies in the trenches also want some protection as well. There's no question things will change, but we may never whether Looney went for Williams' knees purposely.
"He had a perfect opportunity to hit him in the chest, but he intentionally went to his knee," Allen said. "We want to talk about protecting player safety and all that stuff? Well, I got fined for a hit up high [against Chicago last year] because they said I launched into a guy, right? If he hits Kevin in the chest, and something happens, that's part of it. But if you intentionally duck, and go to a guy's knee, I mean, it had no bearing on the play.
"You talk about player safety and wanting to protect us; how is Kevin not a defenseless player? It's just not what you do."
Vikings coach Leslie Frazier said Tuesday he talked to the NFL about the play and was told the league agrees that "it's not the type of play they want in the game for player safety reasons."
"I understand the rule. But I know it's going to be looked into further. That's not the type of play that any of us want to see," he said.