San Francisco 49ers guard Joe Looney injured Minnesota Vikings defensive tackle Kevin Williams on Sunday night when he engaged in a low block. After the game, Looney said he “didn’t try to take a dirty, cheap shot at him.”
Looney went on to tell CSNBayArea.com:
“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. I’ve been injured myself. I know what it’s like.”
After reviewing footage from the game, NFL officials ruled the black was not illegal. Not satisfied with the ruling, the Vikings registered a complaint in which they says Looney hyperextended Williams’ knee and caused a postular capsular strain on purpose.
Follow the complaint, an MRI shows that Kevin Williams did not suffer ligament damage.
An NFL spokesman said Dean Blandino, the league’s vice president of officiating, said the black did not violate a new rule on peel-back blocks.
Minnesota defensive end Jared Allen said calling the hit legal was “absurd.”
After talking to NFL officials Vikings coach Leslie Frazier said Tuesday they told him “it’s not the type of play they want in the game for player safety reasons.”
Taking a less diplomatic approach Vikings linebacker Chad Greenway attacked Looney:
“It’s really quite ridiculous. It’s something we talked about in our meetings with the refs before the preseason started. It’s just unnecessary. [Williams] wasn’t going to make the play. He wasn’t going to be part of the play. I understand that guy [Looney]’s trying to earn a job, as well, but he could have easily just hit him high.
Greenway then added:
“You can say what you want about you didn’t mean to hurt him, but the reality is, you did that. And now we have a guy who’s been one of the best at his position for a long time dealing with an injury he shouldn’t have to deal with.”
Allen says he is most concerned that the NFL continues to preach player safety but then ignores obvious cases in which a player was hurt with malice.
Kevin Williams walked off the field under his own weight. Speaking on Sunday to the Star Tribune the defensive tackle said:
“I was just upset that I’m getting cut 11 years in [the NFL] from a guy who I don’t even know. I figure between the pain and the fact he cut me when I wasn’t looking was my reaction.”
Do you think Joe Looney performed an illegal hit against Kevin Williams?