Vikings rookie Harrison Smith just found out that his first weekly NFL paycheck is going to be a lot lighter.
Smith was fined $21,000 for unnecessary roughness in the Vikings’ game against the Chargers, the NFL has confirmed. According to the league office, Smith unnecessarily struck a defenseless player in the head and neck area with his shoulder.
The NFL specifically noted that Harrison’s hit was with his shoulder — not his helmet — but that doesn’t matter. It’s against the rules to use any part of your body to hit an opponent in the head or neck area when he’s considered a defenseless player.
The hit came late in the fourth quarter of the Vikings-Chargers game, when Smith drilled Chargers receiver Mike Willie on a pass over the middle.