The victorious Vikings are not pleased with the Rams after quarterback Teddy Bridgewater was knocked out of the game with a concussion.
Bridgewater slid down after a short run early in the fourth quarter and was hit in the head by Rams rookie cornerback Lamarcus Joyner, who led with his shoulder. It looked as if Bridgewater was knocked out by the hit, which resulted in a 15-yard personal foul penalty on Joyner.
Bridgewater went to the locker room and was diagnosed with a concussion. He did not return. He will have to be cleared through the NFL’s concussion protocol in order to play next weekend against the Raiders.
After the 21-18 overtime win, coach Mike Zimmer was asked if he thought Joyner’s hit was a cheap shot that crossed the line. “Yes, I do,” he replied.
“If we were out in the street, we probably would have had a fight,” he added.
Zimmer was then asked if he thought the Rams, who were not flagged earlier in the second half for a low hit on Bridgewater, targeted his QB.
“I don’t know about that, but I do know that there is a history there with their defensive coordinator,” Zimmer said. “I’ll leave it at that.”
The Rams’ defensive coordinator, of course, is Gregg Williams, who was suspended by the NFL in the Saints’ “Bountygate” scandal a few years ago.
Joyner said after the game that he did not intend to hurt Bridgewater.
“He’s full of crap,” left guard Brandon Fusco said when told about that.
Fusco was perhaps the most outspoken Vikings player about Joyner’s hit.
“I don’t agree with the hit,” Fusco said. “I think some of those players on that team are pretty cheap, to tell you the truth. I hope we see them again because it was a fun game to play in and a physical game. I just don’t like seeing our quarterback go down that way.”
On his way off the field after kicker Blair Walsh’s game-winner, Zimmer gave Rams coach Jeff Fisher a quick handshake and then kept walking.
“I don’t have much to say to him,” Zimmer explained.
Zimmer said he was pleased with how his team handled the adversity.
“I thought it was a hard-fought game,” he said. “I know we played very clean on our side of the ball. It shows our team has a lot of heart, a lot of fight.”