Image courtesy of Vikings.com

Minnesota Vikings safety Andrew Sendejo suspended for one game for violating player safety rules.

The Fumble That Wasn’t

During Sunday’s game against the Ravens, Vikings safety Andrew Sendejo leveled Baltimore wide receiver Mike Wallace as he ran across the middle of the field. The hit by Sendejo, teamed with a swipe at the ball by Xavier Rhodes resulted in a fumble by Wallace, which the Vikings recovered.

However, the referees deemed the hit illegal (unnecessary roughness) and the result of the play was a Baltimore first down. The penalty apparently negated the turnover. Today, the league took the controversial ruling a step further. One day after Sendejo laid the big hit on Wallace, the league released this statement:

VT’s Jordan Reid’s Twitter feed has video of the play.

When asked about his thoughts on the play and call, Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer responded, “I think the receiver took five steps… [Sendejo] hit him with a glancing blow.” Zimmer also said during today’s press conference he will send tape of the play to the league office.

According to Ian Rappaport, Sendejo will appeal his suspension. Should Sendejo lose his appeal it would be the second of three games the safety has missed. Anthony Harris started in place of Sendejo when he missed the Week 6 game against Green Bay with a groin injury. The Vikings face the Cleveland Browns in London on Sunday.

29 COMMENTS

  1. It makes me sick that the NFL won’t let good defenses play. This is a cowardly, and reactionary suspension. It was a clean hit, on a bang-bang play, and this is absurd. Is this a retaliation for the Rodgers hit (which was clean)? Also the Treadwell block vs GB was clean, and that one had me fuming. The NFL is doing their best to ruin the game, but at least for now OLD SCHOOL FOOTBALL is back, and its in Minnesota! Lets keep it rollin’ in London! SKOL

    Like(2)Dislike(0)
    • I’m with you Robert. Good point about the other plays as well. I have a HUGE problem when someone calls Zimmer or his players dirty because it’s simply not true (aside from Burfict). SKOL!

      Like(2)Dislike(0)
      • I agree that neither Zimmer nor his players are dirty, but Sendejo is getting a reputation for being reckless, to the point of endangering his own teammates.

        Like(0)Dislike(1)
  2. When I saw it I thought it was a good hit, but I knew a flag was likely to follow. The replay looks like he’s going for the ball. In no way do I think it warrants a suspension.

    Like(2)Dislike(0)
    • I agree Harry. What I don’t understand is how the penalty negated the turnover. I’ve never seen that before

      Like(2)Dislike(0)
      • But the turnover was caused by the penalty, the illegal hit. It’s as if a ball was intercepted by a safety after a corner held a wide receiver. The pass interference would negate the interception. Or am I missing something?

        Like(0)Dislike(1)
  3. It was a completely BS call in the first place. Wallace is not a defenseless receiver on the play, he’s a runner at the point he is hit. The helmet contact is a result of a football play, not unneccesary targeting by the defender. The league should be apologizing to the Vikings for flipping a turnover back to the Ravens a few plays after they blew a PI call that resulted in an interception. To suspend him for this hit is absurd. Meanwhile, Burfict kicked a player in the helmet while he was on the ground and the league isn’t planning to suspend him despite his lengthy track record of being a complete piece of crap. I’m all for making things safer and Sendejo is pretty reckless at times, but this was not a cheap shot that warrants a suspension.

    Like(1)Dislike(0)
    • Amen Dan T. I had to take a few deep breaths after I saw Sendejo would be suspended and Burfict was not

      Like(1)Dislike(0)
  4. Sorry, all, but I agree with the penalty and the suspension. Sendejo does not launch himself into Wallace, true; instead, he settles into a stance waiting for Wallace to come to him, cocks his right shoulder at the last second and then snaps his right shoulder into Wallace’s helmet. Not into the ball, not into Wallace’s arms, chest or shoulder, but right into the left side of Wallace’s facemask. It wasn’t necessary, with Rhodes dragging on Wallace, and Sendejo could have instead wrapped up Wallace or aimed towards Wallace’s center of mass instead of his head. The refs and the league are not perfect, Lord knows, but the Barr non-call was a legit non-call and this was a legit call.

    Like(0)Dislike(5)
    • I respect your analysis cka2nd. You’re right, Sendejo could have wrapped up, but he never does. Maybe that’s why he was suspended? BUT Wallace’s head dipped, leaving Sendejo virtually no room to hit a still-stumbling runner. It’s quite clear Sendejo loaded up for a fumble-causing hit, which last I heard is NOT illegal. Watch his arms try to punch the ball loose. He leads with his shoulder. If he wanted to hit him in the head he easily could have hit him higher

      Like(1)Dislike(0)
      • “…Sendejo could have wrapped up, but he never does. Maybe that’s why he was suspended?”

        I’ve actually seen exactly that point made somewhere else, that the Refs are no longer giving him the benefit of the doubt on borderline calls. But then I still don’t consider this call borderline, because the shoulder cock and snap move that he made looked to me like a head shot, and I don’t see his arms reaching oout to punch the ball free like you do, Sean..

        Now, I am not a physicist nor an accident analyst or ANY kind of an athlete or martial artist, let alone a soldier, so PLEASE take my analysis with as large a grain of salt as you think necessary, but I would think that if Sendejo were going for a body shot or trying to cause a fumble, he would have lowered his shoulder and launched himself from his legs as if he were trying to go through Wallace. The shoulder “snap” that he instead employed looks to my UNTRAINED eyes like a perfect knockout head shot and not a fumble-causing or gut-wrenching body shot because it is very precise and would seem to me to have a big impact on a small area, while the full-on shoulder to the gut or arms while driven by the legs shot would impact a larger area and therefore be more likely to cause a fumble. But please, I am completely open to having any of my assumptions or observations corrected by someone with more experience and a better explanation for what happened.

        Like(0)Dislike(1)
        • He was going for the ball. Wallace’s head got in the way.
          Sendejo trying to knock out Mike Wallace? Why would he do that?

          Like(1)Dislike(0)
        • Not that I’m an expert… I did play some defense in Jr high. 😁
          Just in that situation it seems like a good idea to jar the ball loose. And what’s to gain by knocking him out?

          Like(0)Dislike(0)
          • Ask Clint Harris, George Atkinson, Jack Tatum or the late Wally Hilgenberg. There have always been headhunters in football, or guys who believed that hitting the opponent as hard as possible was even more important than a turnover because of the fear it instilled in them. And then there are just brutes and bullies and guys who love the blood and guts. I don’t think Sendejo is generally a dirty player or a headhunter. But he does seem to play for the big hit, maybe because he realizes he can deliver them more often then he can pick the ball off. And that’s not necessarily a bad thing, if one can do it with discipline, restraint and an attention to the fundamentals of tackling, which is where I think Sendejo is lacking.

            Like(0)Dislike(0)
            • I agree with you 100% here cka2nd. I think a lack of fundamental tackling is leading to a rise in player injuries

              Like(0)Dislike(0)
        • I guess this is where we see things differently. If I were in his shoes I would have done almost exactly what Sendejo did. MAYBE hit Wallace a little lower… but I see what you’re saying. Either way if he’s going to miss a game due to suspension, this is it

          Like(0)Dislike(0)
    • Right on Trevor! Nice look and feel to your blog. That’s how I got my start in writing about the Vikes

      Like(0)Dislike(0)
      • Wow, that is well designed! And I can’t disagree with Trevor’s list of the five greatest Vikings of all time, although I might tweak the order a bit.

        Like(0)Dislike(0)
          • Well, Trevor has it 1. Tarkenton, 2. Page, 3. Peterson, 4. Mos and 5. Randall McDaniel, but since you ask, Sean, I’d rank them:

            1. Page – In my opinion, one of the top five defensive tackles of all time (Joe Greene, Merlin Olsen on the one hand and Bob Lilly, Page and some Cleveland Brown from the 50’s whose name I’m spacing on on the other), and the second or third best so-called three-technique tackle ever after Lilly and, maybe, said un-named Brown.
            2. Tarkenton – We missed out on those five prime years he spent with the Giants.
            3. McDaniel – Pretty much perfection at the position.
            4. Moss – His accomplishments were undercut by some of his behavior.
            5. Peterson – If he had been as multi-dimensional as Chuck Foreman, he might be duking it out for #1, but he wasn’t, so he slides a bit.

            Like(0)Dislike(0)
              • What underrated? He’d be #6 or #7 on my list, neck and neck with Carl Eller, followed by, in alphabetical order, Randle, Tingelhoff and Zimmerman filling out the Top 10, Doleman, Foreman, Krauss, Marshall and Yary getting us to 15, and Alderman, Blair, Hutchinson, Millard and Kevin Williams completing the Top 20. But that’s just off the top of my head!

                I’m ignoring a bunch of fine wide receivers with maybe 15 Pro Bowls between them, two Hall of Fame QB’s and some others who I might rank even higher as Vikings, a couple of Pro Bowl run-stuffing defensive tackles, every cornerback we’ve ever had and every other linebacker, one of the great all-around fullbacks and two first round halfbacks, some damned fine centers, and a certain tight end who’s son is currently having a monster season down in New Orleans. As I’ve said before, the Vikings are one of the ten NFL best franchises of the Super Bowl era, and we’ve had the talent that proves it.

                Like(0)Dislike(0)
                • And I’ve got my eye on three or four current Vikings for possible inclusion on a Top 50 ever, and maybe even Top 20, list but I don’t want to jinx them by mentioning their names.

                  Like(0)Dislike(0)
                • Mr. Jordan? Right on about the talent, just wish we had the Super Bowl victories to prove it. BUT, there’s always this year

                  Like(0)Dislike(0)

Leave a Reply