San Francisco 49ers guard Joe Looney said Monday that he meant no harm and was just trying to play to the whistle Sunday night when his low block injured the knee of Minnesota Vikings defensive tackle Kevin Williams.
“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 Monday, according to CSNBayArea.com. “I’ve been injured myself. I know what it’s like.”
Looney was blocking for 49ers running back LaMichael James on a running play in the third quarter. The NFL reviewed the play and determined that the block was not illegal.
“I didn’t try to take a dirty cheap shot at him,” Looney said. “I was just trying to finish my block. I meant no harm by the block at all.”
Williams suffered a hyperextension of his right knee. An MRI examination revealed that he had a significant bone bruise as well as a posterior capsular strain.
Vikings defensive end Jared Allen and linebacker Chad Greenway said Tuesday that the play was dirty and uncalled for.
“He had a perfect opportunity to hit him in the chest, but he intentionally went to his knee,” Allen said, via 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.
“You talk about player safety and wanting to protect us; how is Kevin not a defenseless player? It’s just not what you do.”
Greenway blasted the league for not taking action against the hit.
“Now we have a guy that’s been one of the best at his position for a long time and dealing with an injury he didn’t have to deal with,” Greenway said. “The reality is if the roles were reversed, and it was a defensive guy going into a quarterback or a receiver or a high-profile player, you tell me what’s going to happen. We’ve seen the fines. We’ve seen what’s gone on in this league.
“I think you have to be consistent. If you’re going to go down that route, you better be consistent with every player, offense, defense, no matter what number’s on the back of your jersey.”
Vikings head coach Leslie Frazier said Tuesday that Williams is listed as day to day. He did not practice on Tuesday. The Vikings open the regular season at Detroit on Sept. 8.
“There’s a big emphasis regarding player safety and that play really endangers our players’ safety,” Frazier said. “It’s not something that the league wants. It’s not something that any of us want as we are trying to make the game safer for our players.”