Mike Zimmer, Vikings upset after Harrison Smith ejected for helmet-to-helmet hit

Liz Roscher
·1 min read

Minnesota Vikings safety Harrison Smith was ejected on Sunday during the team’s 31-23 win over the Houston Texans. Smith connected with the helmet of Texans tight end Jordan Akins while trying to execute a tackle and was tossed from the game for targeting.

It’s a rough hit for sure, there’s no denying that. But it looks like Smith tried to go low and lead with his shoulder, which is allowable. The problem is that even when you lead with your shoulder, your helmeted head is always in front of you. Smith would have had to aim that hit just perfectly to avoid connecting with Akins’ helmet first.

A hit like that isn’t an automatic ejection, and it could have been called as a personal foul. In this case, the referees decided to take that extra step and toss Smith from the game, and head coach Mike Zimmer was absolutely livid about it.

Zimmer’s choice to wear a transparent face shield pays dividends in this situation, because we can see just how furious he is with Harrison’s questionable tossing. Sadly, his emphatic and (probably very) loud protest didn’t lead to Harrison’s ejection being rescinded.

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