Jared Allen destroys Bears lineman with season-ending hit: Was it dirty? [GIF]

Lance Louis now faces knee surgery and months of rehab.
Lance Louis now faces knee surgery and months of rehab.

During an interception return in the third quarter of the Vikings' 28-10 loss to the Bears, Jared Allen demolished an unsuspecting Bears lineman with a blindside block.

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As he was being upended by Allen, 27-year-old Lance Louis' left foot got caught in the turf, causing his leg to twist awkwardly. He ended up suffering a season-ending torn ACL, and some Bears players and coaches are understandably upset about it.

First, here's a GIF of the hit:

Yesterday, Bears coach Lovie Smith stopped short of saying it was a cheap shot, but characterized Allen's block as one of those plays "when you look at them again, you say, 'Hey, we could have done without [that]. I think our game can do without that play.'''

''We have an injured player based on that [play],'' Smith added. ''I think we could have gotten a block a little differently. That's about all I should probably say about it. I'm sure the league will look at it and give you an opinion on [whether it was necessary].''

Smith's sentiment was echoed by Bears defensive lineman Israel Idonije, who said, "It wasn't necessary... He hit him that way because he chose to hit him that way.''

Allen wasn't penalized on the play, but that doesn't mean he won't be fined or suspended when the hit is reviewed by the league office this week. From ESPN:

The NFL will review Allen's hit and determine whether it deserves a fine or other discipline. We probably won't hear anything until Wednesday at the earliest on that. Officials did not call a penalty on the play, but for those interested, here is how Rule 12, Section 7 (b3) reads in the 2012 NFL rule book:
Prohibited contact against a player who is in a defenseless posture is: Illegally launching into a defenseless opponent. It is an illegal launch if a player (1) leaves both feet prior to contact to spring forward and upward into his opponent, and (2) uses any part of his helmet (including the top/crown and forehead/"hairline" parts) to initiate forcible contact against any part of his opponent's body. Note: The provisions of (2) do not prohibit incidental contact by the mask or helmet in the course of a conventional tackle or block on an opponent.

One of the definitions of "defenseless opponent" is: "A player who receives a 'blindside' block when the blocker is moving toward or parallel to his own end line and approaches the opponent from behind or from the side."

Allen, who generated waves last season by

cock-punching former Viking Ray Edwards

during a special teams play,

told the Pioneer Press

he "thought it was a legal hit."

"I never intentionally try to hurt anybody," Allen said. "I turned around, he was running to make a tackle and I threw myself into him to make a block."

Told of Louis' knee injury, Allen said: "My condolences to him and his family."

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