The Minnesota Vikings improved to a 6-4 record with their 34-24 win over the Detroit Lions on Sunday, but it was a costly win for a couple of players.
Vikings middle linebacker Jasper Brinkley was fined $21,000 for a helmet-to-helmet hit on WR Calvin Johnson in the fourth quarter. The hit came after a 25-yard gain in the fourth quarter and Brinkley was flagged on the play.
Safety Mistral Raymond also received a fine for $7,875 for a late hit on Lions RB Mikel Leshoure in the fourth quarter – just two plays earlier – after a 5-yard pass. Leshoure was already down when Raymond dove and made contact with him.
“I looked at it and I’ve just got to make a better decision. With the direction this game is headed with player safety and all that stuff, I’ve just got to make a better decision,” Raymond said Monday, before the fine was even issued.
Safety Harrison Smith, who already has nearly $30,000 in fines, avoided a potential fine for a hit in which he made helmet-to-helmet contact with Johnson. Smith wasn’t flagged either.
Johnson ended up gaining 207 yards on a career-high 12 catches, but he could be seen holding or shaking his head after a few hits.
“The guys is 6-5 and jumps 40 inches off the ground. Even if you want to hit him in his chest, you’ve got to kind of rise up to do that. I’ve seen a number of times on film where guys are getting up around his face. He’s a tough guy. He’ll be alright,” Raymond said.
“… We put some pretty good hits on him. For the second game this season, we got some good shots on him. Like I said, he’s a big guy and he’s built for it.”
For the Lions, WR Ryan Broyles was fined $10,000 for an illegal crackback block in the first quarter.
Guard Brandon Fusco, who was accused by Chris Houston of “intentionally” trying to land on the cornerback’s ankle was not fined and it didn’t appear that Fusco made any attempt to injure Houston during Adrian Peterson’s 61-yard touchdown run.