Eric Kendricks Fined $10.3K for Hit on Justin Fields During Vikings' Win vs. Bears

Tyler Conway@@jtylerconwayFeatured Columnist IVDecember 26, 2021

Minnesota Vikings middle linebacker Eric Kendricks hits Chicago Bears quarterback Justin Fields after Fields gave himself up during the second half of an NFL football game Monday, Dec. 20, 2021, in Chicago. Eric Kendricks was ejected from the game. (AP Photo/David Banks)
AP Photo/David Banks

Minnesota Vikings linebacker Eric Kendricks was fined $10,300 for his hit on Chicago Bears quarterback Justin Fields that resulted in his ejection from the Week 15 contest.

Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reported the fine, which is standard when a player draws a late hit penalty

Kendricks lowered his head and hit Fields in the helmet after the Bears quarterback slid to the ground in the fourth quarter of Monday's 17-9 Vikings victory. 

Fields was not injured on the play.

Kendricks said he found the ejection "harsh" but understood being penalized.

"Obviously, I did make contact," Kendricks told reporters Wednesday. "I get the penalty. Try to keep him safe. But at the same time, I felt the ejection was a little harsh. I tried to get out of the way. I did hit him, so I do understand the penalty. But the ejection was harsh."

The NFL has put several rules into place in recent years to protect defenseless players—particularly when it involves contact to their head. While Kendricks may have disagreed with his ejection, he clearly lowered his head and made contact with the head of a defenseless player. It was a textbook ejection.

If the NFL wants to better police these types of dangerous hits, the league may want to look into stiffer fines. Kendricks was fined the same amount as the standard fine for taunting.