No penalty was handed out after a Minnesota Vikings player was punched on Sunday.
When the Minnesota Vikings take on the division rival Chicago Bears each season, the matchups can get pretty physical. The NFC North is known for having some of the toughest divisional battles between their members each year and Sunday was no different when the Vikings faced the Bears inside U.S. Bank Stadium.
Minnesota quarterback Kirk Cousins had pressure in his face all day long (40 percent of his dropbacks) as the team’s offensive line struggled to block Chicago’s pass rush. The physicality of the Bears defense was clearly just too much for the Vikings’ blockers to handle.
There was at least one moment on Sunday though when the physicality of Chicago’s defense went a bit over the line.
Chicago Bears defender goes too far with punch to Minnesota Vikings lineman
Midway through Minnesota’s matchup against the Bears, Vikings right tackle Brian O’Neill was tasked with blocking Chicago defensive lineman Akiem Hicks. O’Neill was able to move Hicks out of the way and clear a nice running lane for Minnesota’s Dalvin Cook, but the Chicago defender didn’t take too kindly to getting taken out of the play.
In the clip above, it’s pretty clear that Hicks delivers a punch to O’Neill, and the fact that there was no flag thrown on the play is incredibly ridiculous. The sequence happened right in the line of vision of where the umpire, the game official in charge of making calls on offensive and defensive linemen, is supposed to line up.
Then to make the play even better, Cook was tackled down to the ground by his facemask by Bears linebacker Danny Trevathan, and no flag was thrown for this either.
What Hicks did to O’Neill is typically something that results in an ejection from the game at the very least and a suspension can even be given out if the NFL feels like the action was deserving enough.
The league definitely needs to review this play and determine if a suspension for the Chicago defender is necessary. If the NFL truly cares about player safety, which they claim they do, then they can’t be having guys just delivering punches out on the field.
Since the NFL-AFL merger in 1970, which Minnesota Vikings teams to miss out on the playoffs should still be regarded as some of the best?
Sunday’s game officials made a mistake by not ejecting Hicks for his punch. The league can fix their mistake by handing the Bears defensive lineman a steep fine or a suspension.