Minnesota Vikings safety Andrew Sendejo has been suspended one game for his hit that concussed Baltimore Ravens wide receiver — and Sendejo’s former teammate — Mike Wallace.
In a letter to Sendejo, the league stated: “The violation was flagrant and warrants a suspension because it could have been avoided, was violently directed at the head and neck area and unreasonably placed both you and an opposing player at risk of injury.”
The hit initially appeared to lead to a Ravens turnover. Wallace fumbled the ball as the contact from Sendejo knocked the receiver’s helmet off his head. The officials met after the play, however, and dropped a late flag at the spot of the hit.
The penalty against Andrew Sendejo may or may not have been a good call, but you’ve gotta love this super-stealth late flag from the ref. pic.twitter.com/bUUCTvG5xE
— Sam Ekstrom (@SamEkstrom) October 23, 2017
Mike Zimmer defended Sendejo when asked about the hit at Monday’s press conference.
“I think the receiver took five steps after he caught the ball,” said Zimmer. “I think he hit him with a glancing blow. I know what [the officials] told me, but I’m going to turn it in to the league and see what they say. He established position as a runner, took two extra steps. Xavier [Rhodes] was trying to pull the ball out, which he ended up doing. The guy went down a little bit. But in my opinion, he was a runner.”
Sendejo is allowed to appeal the suspension within three days. Players have had one-game suspensions reduced to fines in the past upon appeal, so there’s still a chance Sendejo suits up in London this Sunday. If he doesn’t, Anthony Harris will likely take his place.