Za’Darius Smith cold-shoulders Packers after Vikings suffer beatdown

Vikings LB Za’Darius Smith didn’t take losing to his former team well, rushing off the field without giving acknowledgment to his former Packers teammates.

The Vikings have done a remarkable job winning close games this season. The problem is when they’ve lost they’ve lost handily.

That was the case on Sunday as Minnesota rang in the New Year with a 41-17 drubbing at the hands of the Packers.

For former Packers linebacker Za’Darius Smith, the loss was extra embarrassing.

Za’Darius Smith cold-shoulders Packers after Vikings suffer beatdown

Reporters noticed immediately that Smith went straight to the tunnel at the final whistle. He didn’t stop to interact with any of his former teammates.

His actions shouldn’t come as a surprise. Even before the game, his bitterness over the Packers was evident. He apparently declined to shake the hands of Green Bay captains Adrian Amos and Dallin Leavitt after the coin toss.

Smith signed with the Vikings in part because he wanted to face his former team twice a year. The Packers released him after the 2021 season to save $16 million in cap space after the relationship between the player and team deteriorated amidst a back injury.

The first meeting went Smith’s way. Minnesota won 23-7 to open the season as the linebacker notched two tackles, a sack and two QB hits.

However, this time it was the opposite story. Smith didn’t make an impact with three total tackles. He had no sacks, tackles for loss, hurries or hits.

It’s pretty obvious his frustration got the better of him.

Smith and the Vikings will try to get things back on track next week against the Bears in the regular-season finale.

The Packers will take on Detroit with their season on the line. The game against the Vikings was another must-win for Green Bay. They’ve now won four in a row but they need one more to advance to the playoffs.