Matt Vensel is in his first year at the Star Tribune after covering the Ravens for the Baltimore Sun for six years. He is a Pittsburgh native and a Penn State grad. Follow him at @mattvensel.


Mark Craig has covered the NFL for 23 years, and the Vikings since 2003 for the Star Tribune. He is one of 44 Pro Football Hall of Fame selectors. Follow him at @markcraignfl.


Master Tesfatsion is the Star Tribune’s digital Vikings writer. He is a 2013 graduate of Arizona State and worked for mlb.com before arriving in Minneapolis. Follow him at @masterstrib.


Harrison Smith won't be suspended or fined after ejection

Posted by: under Vikings, Leslie Frazier, Vikings defense, Antoine Winfield, Leslie Frazier Updated: October 8, 2012 - 1:39 PM

Update: Vikings safety Harrison Smith won't be fined or suspended for his second-quarter shove of back judge Steve Freeman on Sunday, coach Leslie Frazier said today.

Smith was ejected from Sunday's 30-7 blowout of Tennessee early in the second quarter when Freeman attempted to separate him from a post-play skirmish following an interception by Antoine Winfield. Freeman walked Smith away from the chaos. And in an effort to get away from the official, Smith delivered a shove. He was assessed a 15-yard personal foul penalty and was disqualified from the game.

But Smith did miss more than two-thirds of Sunday's game, something the league likely weighed.

The non-suspension is big news for a Vikings defense that was already very thin at safety. Mistral Raymond and Andrew Sendejo both missed Sunday's game with ankle injuries. Which meant that following Smith's ejection, Jamarca Sanford and rookie Robert Blanton were the only two healthy safeties active.

The Vikings travel to Washington this week.

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