Steelers’ Minkah Fitzpatrick Has Faced Officials With Unnecessarily Rough Call During Vikings Game
Minkah Fitzpatrick on Saturday criticized officials for the needlessly rough punishment he was given for hitting Vikings receiver Justin Jefferson during the Steelers’ “Thursday Night Football” loss.
The penalty kick occurred in the 7th minute of the third round. Steelers safety hit Jefferson in the late-game zone after the latter crossed the middle for a sure-fire touchdown. It was a bang-bang game, but the back-of-the-ball referee, who blew Fitzpatrick’s penalty, didn’t hesitate after the shot:
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Very poor management. Calls like these can change the outcome of the game. Football is a violent sport. People will be severely affected legally. Recipients running through the intermediary know what they have signed up for. That is part of the game. https://t.co/07wFfOxLa1
– Minkah Fitzpatrick (@ minkfitz_21) December 11, 2021
Fitzpatrick said: “Very poor action. “Calls like these can change the outcome of games. Football is a violent sport. People will be hit hard legally. The receivers running across the mid lane know them. signed up for. It’s part of the game.”
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The hit is clearly violent at full speed, but there’s nothing “wrong” with it. The slow motion of the tackle suggests it’s mostly a form of tackle: Fitzpatrick’s helmet is nowhere near Jefferson’s head or neck, and his right shoulder transmits most of the force.
Steelers full-back Joe Haden echoed his teammate’s sentiment on the penalty spot shortly after it was called:
That said, Jefferson did fit the parameters of what the NFL defines as an “indefensible player.” According to the NFL rule book:
“A receiver trying to catch a pass has not been clearly timed to become a runner. If a player has the ability to avoid or prevent the opponent’s impending collision, he is no longer a player. more defense.”
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The last shot was the right move that Fitzpatrick made. The Vikings failed to score after the 5m penalty, giving them their first goal and a Steelers ‘4 strike. Minnesota eventually settled for a short goal that made the score 29-0 instead of 32-0. .
The Steelers attempted a comeback in the fourth quarter, ultimately failing 36-28 after midfielder Ben Roethlisberger’s cross to tight end Pat Freiermuth from Vikings ’12 failed to complete in the late zone. A touch of the ball would give the Steelers a chance to draw with a 2-point conversion and send the game into extra time.