Chicago Sun-Times

Lance Louis has torn ACL; placed on IR

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An MRI on the left knee of Bears starting right guard Lance Louis revealed a torn ACL ligament, ending the season of the team's most consistent offensive lineman.

The Bears announced that they have placed Louis on the Injured Reserve.

On the opening drive of the third quarter, Bears quarterback Jay Cutler was off mark on a pass to open receiver Brandon Marshall, who tipped the ball into the air. Minnesota Vikings cornerback Antoine Winfield intercepted it and sprinted down the left sideline. Lance Louis.jpg

Louis was turning toward Winfield, who passed him, and he was blindsided by Vikings defensive end Jared Allen. As he crumbled to the ground, Louis' left leg appeared to get caught up in the turf.

"I thought it was a legal hit. He's running to make a tackle, so I just made a block," Allen said. "I turned around, he was trying to make a tackle, and I threw myself into him. Just trying to make a block, just like we're taught.

"I'm never trying to hurt anybody. I'm trying to make a block and spring our guy. It's unfortunate."

Louis has started all 11 games this season, and he started 13 of the 14 he played in 2011. A seventh-round pick 2009, Louis is a converted tight end who has emerged as arguably the team's best offensive lineman.

The website Pro Football Focus has him rated as the team's best lineman, giving up two sacks, two hits and seven hurries. By contrast, right tackle Gabe Carimi has given up seven sacks, nine hits and 28 hurries.

"Lance has proven to be one of the top guards in the NFL and it is disappointing that his season has come to an end," agent Bruce Tollner said in a statement. "Lance will have a quick recovery and be back to playing at an elite level."

Carimi replaced Louis in the lineup and did a solid job. But the 2011 first-round pick had never played the position before Sunday's victory over the Vikings. Another option is Edwin Williams, a college center who has started at guard for the Bears.

The most obvious candidate would have been Chilo Rachal, who started eight games this season after signing as an unrestricted free agent. But Rachal left the team after learning that he was being benched last week, and the Bears placed him on the reserve/ non-football injury list, effectively ending his tenure with the club.

Last week, the Bears signed guard Chris Riley, who played at Illinois State, to the practice squad and promoted James Brown to the 53-man roster, to take Rachal's spot. Brown played left tackle at Troy and right tackle in high school.

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5 Comments

They better fine the krapp out of Allen.
They should suspend him a game because he ended someone's season but they won't do that.

Its called Football and Allen was making a legal block. When your team gets an interception, its time to do a little head hunting!

i agree with your attitude, but by today's rules that block was illegal. However, you should always be looking around during a play and Louis didn't do that, so he got blindsided. Hopefully he learned his lesson, albeit the hard way. That happened to me once and I never let it happen again.

"One of the NFL definitions for a defenseless player is one 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." Had Allen hit Louis in his side it would have been a blindside block, but he didn't, he hit him in the chest. Allen is legal to block on the play, and Louis was just not looking where he was going.

Allen was neither behind nor on the side of Louis. Allen hit him right in the chest, in fact both of Allens legs are outside of both of Louis's legs. Louis was running one direction and looking another. Had Louis just looked forward he would of seen Allen. Allen may not even get a fine, there is little to know Helmet contact and Allen clearly tucked his right arm inside lowered his shoulder and than drives it right into his chest. The Crown of his Helmet never came close to Louis, although the sides may have grazed but that will not constitute Helmet to helmet because it happens on almost every play and Louis had nothing wrong with his head.

It will be a lower end fine if one is even given. Louis got hurt but Allen clearly was not aiming for one of LL's knees. Nor was he aiming for his helmet with the crown of his own. Shoulder to chest. Not much different than that of Chris Harris laying the wood on Roberto Garza back when he was with the Panthers. Garza was not looking and got launched.

No offense but F Louis and the rest of that line, people are freaking out about this hit? Go watch Cutler highlight hit's on youtube, then you will see a guy getting blindsided all day long. Dude has been drilled about 250-300 times as a Bear no thanks to guys like Louis. Louis get hit once and can't get up, please someone drill Webb a couple of times so that clown can actually figure out what in game contact feels like. Blindside? Go watch the Hit Cutler takes on his TD throw, and he got right back up, again.

Louis got hurt? How many injuries has that line caused to it's own QB? Karma. I think I'll send Allen a case of Paps blue ribbon on behalf of Cutler.

There's also the fact that Allen launched himself at Louis, which I understand is also illegal. Like I said, Louis should have been looking and paid for not doing so, but everyone who's commented on this has said it was an illegal hit.

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This page contains a single entry by Sean Jensen published on November 26, 2012 1:31 AM.

Matt Forte suffers ankle injury vs. the Vikings was the previous entry in this blog.

Lovie, Idonije call Jared Allen hit on Louis 'unnecessary' is the next entry in this blog.

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