Harrison Smith Reportedly Won't Be Suspended for Shoving NFL Official

Rob GoldbergFeatured ColumnistOctober 8, 2012

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - AUGUST 17: Harrison Smith #22 of the Minnesota Vikings runs a route during the game against the Buffalo Bills on August 17, 2012 at Mall of America Field at the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)
Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

Harrison Smith is lucky to not be suspended after making contact with an official during a game on Sunday.

The Minnesota Vikings safety was ejected from the game after putting his hands on back judge Steve Freeman following a confrontation with a couple of players on the Tennessee Titans. Fortunately, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter, he will not face any additional punishment.

Commissioner Roger Goodell was actually in attendance during the game, but he reportedly did not see a need to keep Smith out for additional games or even hand down a fine.

The rookie did immediately learn his lesson, telling the media after the game (via ESPN):

Right after it happened, I realized I put my hands on the official. You just can't do it, period. So, I apologize to him. I apologize to my coaches, to my teammates, to the fans. It's just unacceptable. The officials already have a hard job and I should never have been there. I just want to play next week and just help the Vikings win.

The lack of suspension is very good news for the Vikings, who are trying to stay on top of the NFC North. They are currently tied for first place in the division with the Chicago Bears with a 4-1 record.

Smith has already made a big impact on the defensive end this season. The first-round pick out of Notre Dame earned immediate playing time and he has not disappointed on the field.

Through five games, the safety has 25 tackles and a team-leading six passes defended. He also recovered a fumble earlier in the game against the Titans. He is one of the reasons that the Vikings are No. 6 in the NFL in points allowed after being 31st a year ago.

Losing the young player would have been devastating for this team, but hopefully this is just a small mistake in a long career for Harrison Smith.