Minnesota Vikings defensive end Jared Allen criticized the NFL for having a double standard during a Friday appearance on "NFL AM," saying the rulebook doesn't protect defensive players in the same way it does offensive players.
The subject become a hot topic after Houston Texans linebacker Brian Cushing was lost for the season with a torn anterior cruciate ligament suffered on New York Jets guard Matt Slauson's blind cut block that quickly drew criticism from other NFL players.
Allen said he'd like to see the rules changed.
"In a league that talks about taking care of defenseless players and people in defenseless positions, that's a situation right there, there's nothing you can do to defend yourself," Allen said. "He can't get his hands down -- that's an outside end cut block. 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
"My knee is just as valuable as Tom Brady's, in my eyes. There's some hits on the defensive side that could be illegal and probably save some defensive players."
Allen was asked if there's favoritism written into the rulebook.
"We can't grab them by the back of the jerseys anymore," Allen said. "The quarterback, you've got to hit below the neck and above the knees. You can't form tackle and slam them on the ground anymore. That's illegal.
"I'm just stating the facts. I didn't make the rules."
Slauson was fined $10,000 for an illegal peel-back block, but he wasn't flagged on the play. Slauson is appealing the fine.
That particular block was ruled illegal upon league review, but that doesn't take away from Allen's point. Offensive players go after knees on a regular basis. Defenders just want it called both ways.Follow Kareem Copeland on Twitter @kareemcopeland.