Harrison Smith Reaches Big Milestone

Green Bay Packers linebacker Quay Walker (7) catches a pass in front of the Minnesota Vikings safety Harrison Smith (22) during their football game Sunday, October 29, 2023, at Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wis. Wm. Glasheen USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin

Many things were totally overshadowed on Sunday. The Minnesota Vikings won their game at Lambeau Field in convincing fashion. They beat the Packers by two touchdowns, reaching a decent 4-4 record three weeks after the season seemed over at 1-4 with Justin Jefferson having to go on IR. Once Kirk Cousins went down with a torn Achilles on Sunday, everything else became meaningless as folks were grieving the injury.

Harrison Smith Reaches Big Milestone

Harrison Smith Reaches Big Milestone
Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

But outside of the injury, there are more stories to be told about the divisional matchup. One was another brilliant performance from rookie receiver Jordan Addison, who continued his excellence, adding another touchdown to his already impressive rookie total. He is second in the league with seven receiving scores. On the other side of the ball, Brian Flores’ defense is starting to gain traction as one of the better units in the league, holding the Packers to ten points.

A key part of that group is Harrison Smith, the legendary safety. At age 34, most safeties have already called it a career and enjoy their life instead of continuing to leave it all out on Sundays for four months after months of preparation for the season. And those that still play at that age have usually lost some steps. Smith is different. He still loves to compete, and he is still awesome to watch.

1 Viking Significantly More
Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports.

In his long career, Smith has played 22 regular season games against the green rivals and logged a total of 130 tackles in those games. Throughout his career, the safety has made 1,001 combined tackles, becoming the fourth among active players to crack the 1,000 tackles mark. The other three are linebackers Bobby Wagner, Lavonte David, and Demario Davis.

Smith has been thriving under the leadership of Brian Flores, turning back the clock after a bad year for his standards in 2022. The aggressive style of Flores, who is blitzing a whole lot more than anyone else in the league, is a perfect fit for the versatile defender who can line up deep and in the box and is effective in both ways.

Brian Flores Changed the Vikings Offseason
Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports.

We might be witnessing Smith’s last season as a professional football player. He took a pay cut to spend another season with the Vikings when they cleaned house and released a bunch of veteran players. If he wants to continue to play for the Vikings, he will probably asked to repeat that.

If it is indeed his last dance, the Vikings have built a wonderful safety room with great depth. Camryn Bynum is having a breakout season next to Smith, and Josh Metellus has become a starter and significant contributor on the defense. Behind those three, the Vikes also employ Theo Jackson and Lewis Cine.

Just a few weeks ago, The Hitman logged 14 tackles, three sacks, and a forced fumble against the Panthers. Even at age 34, he is a great football player.

Janik Eckardt is a football fan who likes numbers and stats. The Vikings became his favorite team despite their quarterback at the time, Christian Ponder. He is a walking soccer encyclopedia, loves watching sitcoms, and Classic rock is his music genre of choice. Follow him on Twitter if you like the Vikings: @JanikEckardt