Vikings safety Harrison Smith was ejected from Sunday’s game against the Texans.
Smith was removed from the game in the second quarter following a helmet-to-helmet hit on Houston tight end Jordan Akins, who was later ruled out with a concussion. Smith was immediately flagged for using his helmet to initiate contact, which was the obvious call. But that penalty does not carry an automatic ejection.
Officials on the field felt the hit was deserving of an ejection in addition to the penalty.
According to the rulebook, for Smith to be ejected, he must have performed a play that was deemed as “flagrant” by officials.
Here’s how the rulebook defines flagrant:
The word flagrant when used here to describe an action by a player, is meant to indicate that the degree of a violation of the rules — usually a personal foul or unnecessary roughness — is extremely objectionable, conspicuous, unnecessary, avoidable, or gratuitous. Flagrant in these rules not necessarily imply malice on the part of the fouling player or an intention to injure an opponent.
Vikings coach Mike Zimmer was one of many who felt Smith did not qualify for an ejection as he was seen getting upset by the call.
Many other NFL and Vikings fans let their opinions be known about the call on social media.
Harrison Smith just got ejected for using the helmet to initiate contact.
Wow. Mike Zimmer is livid, and I don’t blame him. Not an automatic ejection on that foul, refs decided to do it.
— Andrew Krammer (@Andrew_Krammer) October 4, 2020
Harrison Smith has been ejected for that hit. Mike Zimmer is pissed.
He should be, because that’s garbage.
— Daily Norseman, Skolcially Distancing Since ’06 (@DailyNorseman) October 4, 2020
Disagree with the Harrison smith ejection. Just call it a penalty and move forward, but an ejection seemed extreme imo. #MINvsHOU
— High Low Sports Podcast (@High_Low_Sports) October 4, 2020
that’s a bogus ejection on Harrison Smith. he led with shoulder low and tight end lowered his head. c’mon NY. be better. these guys are going too fast out there. #MINvsHOU
— Chris Brockman (@chrisbrockman) October 4, 2020
That was just bad luck for Harrison Smith.
He went low to make the hit. Receiver lowered his head at the same time.
— Chris Long (@ChrisLongKSTP) October 4, 2020