Just when the Chicago Bears thought they would avoid serious injury to a major contributor, they are forced to place fourth-year OG Lance Louis in injured reserve.
Michael C. Wright of ESPNChicago.com reported the story Monday evening. The injury to Louis is a crushing blow for an offensive line that has been the Bears’ trouble spot all season long. Louis is believed to have a torn ACL after being hit by a diving Jared Allen. At the time, Louis was chasing down Minnesota Vikings CB Antoine Winfield who had just intercepted a Jay Cutler thrown pass.
The Allen hit on Louis raises a question: In the time when safety regarding concussions is held at a priority in football, why is it legal to hit a player near the knees or use yourself as a launchpad?
Suffering from a concussion is one thing, but having a torn ACL is a different animal.
In football, some players bounce back in one week or two. Albeit they are not the same, but they do not have months upon months of rehab to do. Louis may not be the same player after being hit by Allen.
Sadly, hits like Allen’s are too common in football.
In nearly every game, you will find a player that is willing to sacrifice his body by torpedoing himself at or another player. The result is frightening. The cart comes out to carry a player who is unsure whether he will be able to play football again. This is a player trying to make a living in order to feed his family. He deserves the same safety as the player who was a victim of a vicious helmet-to-helmet hit. Allen’s hit must be banned.
If the NFL is as strong in their stance about safety as they say they are, Allen will receive a stiff penalty. If so, his punishment should spark the beginning of the NFL’s attempt to crack down on hits when a player launches themselves.
The NFL must make an example out of Allen.