The Minnesota Vikings, who are already thin at safety, has been ejected from the Vikings contest against the Titans after he shoved an official out of the way during an interception late in the second quarter. Worse yet for the Vikings second round pick, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell is in the building watching the game which won’t help how steep Smith’s penalty will be.
The incident in question seems to be an honest mistake by Smith and looked to be a heat of the moment type of play. After Matt Hasselbeck through an interception, Smith shoved an official out of the way but according to Smith’s pleas on the sidelines he saw the official out of the corner of his eye and thought he was a Tennessee Titans defender.
Turns out Smith was being shoved back by the official in question, which doesn’t excuse Smith’s eventual “shoving” of the official but it looked more like an aggressive escape rather than a shove.
That excuse didn’t fly with the officials who are protected by very strict rules for contact. Smith was immediately booted out of the game and was replaced by a fellow rookie and Notre Dame safety in Robert Blanton who is making his first appearance in an NFL game by way of ejection of the starter. Blanton was the 139th pick in this past April’s draft.
Other than Smith’s ejection, the Vikings defense has forced two turnovers and has gotten after Hasselbeck hard so far. The Titans have yet to get into the endzone and haven’t gotten any drives going thanks to a stout Minnesota defense but that’s a defense that’s getting thin due to injury and, apparently, ejection.
And again, how do you shove an official when you know that the Commissioner himself is in the building. Harrison Smith won’y have to wait long to get his papers from Goodell, they’ll likely be waiting for him in the locker room.