NFL linemen want equality

Vikings' Jared Allen says his knees are just as valuable as Tom Brady's (Reuters)

Vikings' Jared Allen says his knees are just as valuable as Tom Brady's (Reuters)

MIKE ZEISBERGER, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 12:14 AM ET

Add Vikings defensive end Jared Allen to the swelling legion of critics slamming the NFL for not protecting defensive players in the same manner it does for offensive stars such as Tom Brady.

“My knee is just as valuable as Tom Brady’s, in my eyes,” Allen told the NFL Network’s NFL AM program on Friday morning.

Allen and other defensive players are up in arms after a blind cut block by Jets guard Matt Slauson on Monday night left Houston Texans linebacker Brian Cushing out for the season with a torn anterior cruciate ligament.

“In a league that talks about taking care of defenceless players and people in defenceless positions, that’s a situation right there (where) there’s nothing you can do to defend yourself,” Allen said. “For me, there’s no place for that. You take a guy’s knee, he may never be the same player after that. If we’re going to talk about player safety, there needs to be equality amongst all players.”

No flag was thrown on the play. Slauson is appealing his $10,000 fine.

Cushing, meanwhile, said the Slauson fine will not aid the healing process.

“That’s not going to change how my knee feels or whether I can get back on the field,” said Cushing, adding that Slauson had not reached out to him.

END ISN'T SO TIGHT WITH QB

Is Packers tight end Jermichael Finley calling out his quarterback, the reigning NFL MVP?

Sure sounds that way.

While Finley accepts some of the blame for his fragile on-field chemistry with Packers teammate Aaron Rodgers this season, he also suggested that it takes two to tango.

“Not good enough at all,” Finley told the Green Bay Press-Gazette. “Something to be worked on, and try to work on it as much as I can, try to talk to him as much as I can. But like I said, it takes two people.”

Finley is listed as questionable for Sunday night’s game against the Texans with a shoulder ailment.

“I need the quarterback on my side, and I need to catch the ball when he throws it to me,” Finley said. “It takes two things to get that going. So, the chemistry, I feel like we need to get that going.”

Meanwhile, Packers coach Mike McCarthy, one of the league’s most standup guys, said there will be no overreacting despite the fact that his team is just 2-3.

“I think that’s a punk mentality, a loser’s mentality,” McCarthy said during his scheduled press conference in Green Bay.

And in McCarthy’s world, there does not seem to be room in the room for punks or losers.

VOCAL DISCORD

If the battle on the field is anywhere near as bitter as the war of words off it, we can expect a real slobberknocker when the Giants and 49ers clash in San Francisco on Sunday — a rematch of January’s NFC title game.

Even San Francisco 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh has entered this exchange of salvos, lashing out against Giants offensive co-ordinator Kevin Gilbride for accusing 49ers defensive lineman Justin Smith of “getting away with murder” when it comes to “grabbing hold of offensive linemen and allowing those twists to take place.”

Harbaugh went so far as to release a statement on Friday in response to Gilbride’s barb. Ironically, Gilbride made his comments as part of conversation in which he actually praised Smith.

That mattered little to Harbaugh, who zeroed in on the “murder” comment.

“Kevin Gilbride’s outrageous, irrational statement regarding Justin Smith’s play is, first, an absurd analogy,” his statement said. “Second, it is an incendiary comment targeting one of the truly exemplary players in this league.

“It’s obvious that the Giants coaching staff’s sole purpose is to use its high visibility to both criticize and influence officiating.”

Calling Gilbride’s statement “absurd?” Suggesting the Giants are trying to sway the referees?

The gloves are off, boys. Time to beat each other up on the football field.

STEELERS 'D' FALTERING

How porous has the once-mighty Pittsburgh Steelers defence become?

After their 26-23 loss to the Titans on Thursday, the aging, banged-up unit now ranks 31st in third-down efficiency and 19th in points allowed. In three of their five games (vs. Raiders, Eagles, Titans), they have allowed opponents to score on their final possession.

There are reports that safety Troy Polamalu could miss the remainder of the month with an ankle injury. But the most serious ailment could belong to RB Rashard Mendenhall, who hurt his Achilles against the Titans.

EXTRA POINTS

While Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III expects to play against the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday, he is still listed as questionable and needs to pass a couple of concussion tests before receving the green light ... Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez (ankle) is said to be 50-50 to play against the Seattle Seahawks and will be a game-time decision ... As expected, all four players suspended in the New Orleans Saints Bountygate scandal — Will Smith, Jonathan Vilma, Scott Fajita and Anthony Hargrove — have appealed their punishments. ESPN reports that the players are hoping to have commissioner Roger Goodell removed from the appeals process ... Jets defensive back Darrelle Revis will undergo surgery on his ACL Thursday and would not be available even if New York reached the Super Bowl.

 


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