EAGAN, Minn. — Vikings strong safety Harrison Smith will be back in the lineup, but a few thousand dollars lighter in the wallet after being fined by the NFL for a hit last Sunday.
Smith was ejected from Minnesota's win over Houston for a helmet-to-helmet hit on Texans tight end Jordan Akins. Akins left the game with a concussion, and remains in the NFL's concussion protocol leading up to this week's game with Jacksonville.
NBC's Pro Football Talk (PFT) says Smith told reporters Friday that he was fined $15,000 for the hit. He said that he is going to appeal the fine and said part of the reason is to hear what the league believes he should have done differently.
Smith, an All Pro and one of the Vikings' best defenders, was tossed out in the first half against Houston, leaving the team to rely on a safety just elevated from the practice squad and an otherwise banged-up secondary. The Vikings still held on to beat Houston 31-23.
The NFL did not include a suspension for the hit, meaning Smith will play on Sunday Night Football against Seattle.