Vikings LB Eric Kendricks Ejected for High Hit on Bears' Justin Fields

Doric SamDecember 21, 2021

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - OCTOBER 31: Eric Kendricks #54 of the Minnesota Vikings talks to teammates on the sidelines in the second quarter the game against the Dallas Cowboys at U.S. Bank Stadium on October 31, 2021 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images)
Stephen Maturen/Getty Images

Minnesota Vikings linebacker Eric Kendricks was ejected from Monday night's game against the Chicago Bears after a late hit on quarterback Justin Fields.

The rookie had scrambled to pick up a short gain, and as he went to slide, Kendricks hit him high and his helmet bounced off the ground.

The hit occurred early in the fourth quarter with Chicago trailing 17-3. Kendricks threw his arms up as if to signify that he wasn't aiming for Fields' helmet. Fields laid on the field for a second before popping up and jogging toward the huddle.

The penalty on Kendricks resulted in the Bears getting the ball on the Minnesota 7-yard line, but they failed to punch it in and the drive ended with a turnover on downs.

Kendricks had seven tackles and one tackle for loss at the time of his ejection. The Vikings had been dominating on defense with three sacks by D.J. Wonnum and three fumble recoveries.

Entering Monday's game, Kendricks led Minnesota with 120 tackles and tied for second on the team with five sacks. The 2015 second-round draft pick has spent his entire career with the Vikings and has totaled over 100 tackles in each of the last six seasons. Kendricks was named to the Pro Bowl and earned first-team All-Pro honors in 2019.

The Vikings kept their playoff hopes alive with a win over Chicago to improve to 7-7.