The news that Brian Urlacher may be done for the rest of the regular season with a hamstring injury has overshadowed one big storyline of the Bears' rematch against the Vikings in Minneapolis.
The Bears get a crack at Vikings defensive end Jared Allen, who ended right guard Lance Louis' season with a hit during an interception return on Nov. 25. Louis suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee on the play.
Allen, though, won't exactly be looking over his shoulder this Sunday.
"There is nothing to retaliate," Allen said during a conference call with Chicago media on Wednesday. "It wasn't malicious. It wasn't done out of ill will. We had an interception. A guy was running towards our guy to make a tackle and I threw a block. Again, like I said, my condolences are to him. The intent is never to hurt anybody. You never want to hurt anybody. Unfortunately, that's part of our game and it happened.
"But you don't go into a game wandering what if."
Some Bears have called Allen's hit on Louis unnecessary, while others like quarterback Jay Cutler and receiver Brandon Marshall have said they don't think Allen is a dirty player.
Allen, though, said he understands why some fans or players are upset with him in Chicago. But he reiterated that it was never his intention to hurt Louis, who was arguably the Bears' most consistent lineman this season.
"I didn't hit him with my head. I hit him with my shoulder," said Allen, who was fined $21,000 for the hit. "I have no way of foreseeing that his knee is going to go out. But yeah, I understand that people get upset. Like I said, I apologized for the fact that I ended his season. You never want any of that to happen.
"I've been in certain [situations] this year where a dude from Detroit comes and knifes my knee. That was intent to knife my knee. Luckily, I was able to play through it. The league didn't find any malicious intent in that. Again, I play this game pure. My integrity of this game to me I don't worry about.The guys that know me around this league know that I play hard, I play to the whistle, and I'm not a malicious guy. I've never intentionally tried to hurt anybody on the field. Unfortunately, it happened.
"Like I said, my condolences to him and his family. That was not the intent. The intent was we had an interception coming up the sideline, and he's running towards it to make a tackle, and I threw a block. Unfortunately, something bad happened. If roles were reversed and I was running to make a tackle and I got blindsided by an offensive lineman or a receiver, I'm pretty sure people would be celebrating it. That's not the case. It is what it is. Again, he got hurt, and that sucks. But again, it's never the intent."