Posted August 26, 2013

Vikings defensive tackle Kevin Williams hurt by questionable block vs. 49ers

Minnesota Vikings, NFC North, NFC West, San Francisco 49ers
Kevin Williams' season with the Minnesota Vikings was put in jeopardy by a questionable block.

Kevin Williams’ season was put in jeopardy by a questionable block. (Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)

Minnesota Vikings left tackle Matt Kalil was not a happy man during his team’s 34-14 loss to the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday night. It wasn’t the final score that had Kalil beside himself (though that didn’t help, to be sure), it was Kalil’s sense that he had to protect his teammates when he was on the field. An honorable thought, but when you get busted twice for unnecessary roughness and cost your offense 30 yards as a result, that’s not good. Vikings head coach Leslie Frazier pulled Kalil off the field for a play, and Kalil eventually calmed down.

But if there was one play in that game that should have the Vikings’ blood boiling, it was the block by 49ers backup guard Joe Looney on Minnesota defensive tackle Kevin Williams. With 10:45 left in the third quarter, San Francisco running back LaMichael James took the ball from quarterback Colt McCoy and ran to the left. Looney kicked up to the second level, whiffed a block on linebacker Chad Greenway and crossed back to block Williams down, diving directly at Williams’ right knee. Williams was on the ground for a time, and had to be helped from the field. He will have an MRI on Monday to determine the severity of the injury.

After the game, the Vikings were not impressed with what they saw.

Rules or not, blocks like this have no place in football.

Rules or not, blocks like this have no place in football.

“I was just upset that I’m getting cut [after] 11 years in [the NFL] from a guy who I don’t even know,” Williams, the six-time Pro Bowler and five-time First-Team All-Pro, said. “I figure the pain and the fact he cut me when I wasn’t looking was my reaction.”

“The guys upstairs were telling me that was one of those where we will probably want to send it into the league, so I’m looking forward to seeing it,” Vikings head coach Leslie Frazier said. “They were pretty upset when they saw it. I’ve got to take a look at it.”

When he looked at it, Frazier most likely saw what should be a textbook violation of the league’s new rules against peel-back blocks. The new point of emphasis was the result of an October 2012 play in which then-New York Jets guard Matt Slauson went low on Houston Texans linebacker Brian Cushing, who suffered a torn ACL and missed the rest of the season. That play happened in the tackle box, which was legal at that time. The league removed that provision in the offseason and made peel-back blocks illegal anywhere on the field, and contact below the waist has been a point of order this preseason.

Carl Cheffers’ crew did not flag Looney for the block. but the league may be looking to lighten Looney’s wallet.

8 comments
ClevelandRocks
ClevelandRocks

When will this madness stop? These dirty plays should not be allowed or tolerated.

Michael185
Michael185

Maybe he was retaliating for the dirty plays Kalil had been doing all game prior. Just because nobody got hurt in those incidents don't make it any less dirty. 

JohnStevens
JohnStevens

The idea below that a player committing such a foul should miss as many games as the injured player is a good one.  And suspend them without pay.  That would be a significant disincentive.

billbellicheat
billbellicheat

The niners should cut this guy so I can sign him.

kevgil6
kevgil6

That block makes me furious I'm not gonna lie.  I think it is even more of a cheap shot than Swearinger's hit on Keller, which I guess comes down to opinion.  The O'Lineman had enough of an open shot at Williams to take him out of the play the right way, by getting low, punching him in the chest, and driving.  Maybe he lacks belief in his skills on the NFL level to such an extent that he had to cheap shot Willaims like that.  In turn, he put himself on majorly thin ice and lost fans, if he had any outside of his family.

affirmativelee
affirmativelee

I'm a Niner fan here, and that was clearly a cheap shot. The 49ers should take the initiative to suspend Looney for at least a game or two. That's not 'Niner football and it shouldn't be tolerated. Our apologies to Viking fans. We hope Williams injury isn't serious and that he recovers quickly. 

JamesMartens
JamesMartens

The penalty should be suspended for as many games as the player you injure misses.  If its career ending then oh well go flip burgers for a living.

kevgil6
kevgil6

@Michael185 Interesting.  I don't have cable and missed that, haven't really been able to watch the games.  Unfortunately, not every fan watches the game with a high IQ and the high profile cases, where a player is severely injured, are what it takes to bring attention to such an issue.  If it was in retaliation, that is unfair to go after WILLIAMS for KALIL'S actions.  Easier said than done but not cool to hurt WILLIAMS over KALIL'S actions. As for suspending the player as long as the injury, very interesting idea.  Taking the game away from them would hopefully be enough of a repercussion to change one's actions for the better of the game.  This lineman had much more time to think and act differently than a 200 lb d-back hitting a 250 lb TE running at full speed would.