The late hit applied by Vikings linebacker Anthony Barr to Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford has sparked plenty of discussion regarding whether Stafford’s teammates underreacted. Vikings coach Mike Zimmer now claims that the officials may have overreacted.
Via Mark Craig of the Minneapolis Star Tribune, Zimmer said that the league office told him Barr’s hit on Stafford shouldn’t have drawn a flag because Stafford deliberately slowed down to draw the penalty.
“I probably owe Anthony Barr an apology because I talked to the [league] officials [Tuesday] night,” Zimmer said. “These quarterbacks now, they’re starting to slow down as they go out of bounds. Kind of egging these things on. That’s one of the things we talked about and [the official] said, yeah, [Barr’s penalty] probably should not have been called.
“What [the league official] told me was they do not get protection if they slow down.”
The next question becomes whether the NFL will publicly acknowledge that Barr shouldn’t have been flagged.