NFL fines Vikings' Allen $50K for two hits on Schaub

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. -- Jared Allen got a double dose of bad news Friday.

Height: 6-6

Weight: 270

College: Idaho State

Experience: 5

Minnesota's star defensive end was fined a whopping $50,000 by the NFL for two below-the-knee hits on Houston quarterback Matt Schaub last week. Allen also learned he was listed as doubtful on the injury report for the upcoming game against rival Green Bay.

Allen declined to discuss the fine due to his desire to appeal the punishment, and his agent Ken Harris also refrained from comment. Schaub and Texans coach Gary Kubiak this week each called the hit that injured the quarterback's left knee a cheap shot.

Last month, Allen was docked $5,000 by the league for a late hit against Chicago.

Though Allen was not penalized during the Houston game, NFL spokesman Randall Liu said the fine was for two plays considered roughing the passer. Allen's actions violated this portion of the league rulebook: "A rushing defender who has an unrestricted path to the passer from any direction is prohibited from forcibly hitting the passer in the knee area or below."

Early in the second quarter during a 17-yard completion to tight end Owen Daniels, Schaub injured the medial collateral ligament in his left knee when Allen came in low. Schaub, who left the game at halftime, is out for two to four weeks. Allen, ironically, hurt his shoulder in the same quarter and played through it.

Allen's fine matches the amount levied on New York Jets safety Eric Smith for a vicious helmet-to-helmet hit that knocked Arizona wide receiver Anquan Boldin out for three weeks. Smith was also suspended for one game.

Earlier this week, Allen defended his actions. He said he apologized to Schaub after the game and meant no ill will.

"I was coming back and I slipped, and he was still in front of me," Allen said. "Obviously I didn't hit him late, because the refs were right there. They didn't call nothing."

Allen, who signed a six-year contract with more than $31 million guaranteed and worth as much as $74.5 million, complained Wednesday that the league was too strict toward defensive players.

"We play a violent game, and we all know when we sign our names on that dotted line that there are going to be injuries. There is going to be pain," Allen said. "That's what we sign up for. That's what we do. It makes us feel alive. And then for us to get punished for it is kind of one of those things where you're like, whatever."

He added: "I don't throw touchdown passes ... therefore we're not the special ones."

Allen was a limited participant in Friday's practice, but his sprained right shoulder still has plenty of healing to do. Vikings coach Brad Childress said he wouldn't decide whether Allen would play Sunday until shortly before kickoff.

Allen reiterated it wasn't his call.

"They're not going to put me in a position to damage my arm," he said.

Brian Robison will start in Allen's place if he can't go. Minnesota's fourth-round draft pick last year, Robison had 4.5 sacks as a rookie. While Allen was ailing during most of last week's game, Robison totaled four tackles, one quarterback hurry and one pass defensed. Robison has essentially been the primary backup at both end spots, behind Allen and Ray Edwards.

"As far as I'm concerned, I'm ready to take on a full-time role right now," Robison said. "I feel like if either one of those guys weren't here, I'd be the starter right now and I'd be just fine."

Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press

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