San Francisco 49ers offensive guard Joe Looney claims he did not intend to hurt Minnesota Vikings defensive tackle Kevin Williams on a low block during a preseason game last week.
The block, which occurred during the third quarter, resulted in a hyperextended knee, bone bruise and postular capsular strain for Williams. The Vikings filed a complaint to the NFL asking for discipline against Looney, but the league determined that the play was not illegal.
“I didn’t try to take a dirty cheap shot at him,” Looney told CSN Bay Area. “I was just trying to finish my block. I meant no harm by the block at all.”
The Vikings, however, disagreed. Here is what defensive and Jared Allen had to say:
“He had a perfect opportunity to hit him in the chest, but he intentionally went to his knee,” Allen said, speaking to ESPN. “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.”
“I have a problem when we talk about player safety in this league, and we have a clear case of a guy trying to hurt a guy, and we do nothing about it. We pat them on the back and say it’s OK,” Allen continued.
But Looney and the 49ers maintain that it was just an unfortunate accident. Head coach Jim Harbaugh said at his presser today that there was “no malice” meant by Looney.
“I tried to find him after the game to apologize, to let him know I’m not that kind of player who’s trying to hurt guys and maliciously take violent hits at people” Looney said. “I’ve been injured myself. I know what it’s like.”
Regardless of whether it was a cheap shot or not, the Vikings will be without their All-Pro defensive tackle for some time.