Eric Kendricks was ejected for a dangerous play during the Vikings’ 17-9 victory against the Browns on “Monday Night Football.”
The linebacker rammed his head into Justin Fields, who had already given himself up and was sliding for a first down. Their helmets loudly collided as Fields’ head was knocked backward into the ground. Officials immediately flagged Kendricks, and Fields got up shortly after.
— Pro Football Network (@PFN365) December 21, 2021
While the hit didn’t appear to injure Fields, the officials decided to eject Kendfricks for the remainder of the matchup. Kendricks’ disqualification for the helmet-to-helmet contact allowed the Bears to gain seven additional yards and get a first down from the Minnesota 7. However, the Bears were unable to capitalize and turned the ball over on downs with around eight and a half minutes remaining in the matchup.
The hit from Kendricks wasn’t the first that Fields suffered during the matchup. Vikings’ defensive end D.J. Wonnum also recorded three sacks on the Chicago quarterback. Before exiting the game, Kendricks recorded seven total tackles. Wonnum and Harrison Smith both led Minnesota with eight total tackles.
Although the Bears didn’t score a touchdown during their loss to the Vikings, Fields went on to complete 26 of 39 passes for 285 yards and a score. He also recorded seven carries for 35 rushing yards, second to leading running back David Montgomery, who totaled 60 rushing yards.
Despite Kendricks’ ejection, the Vikings defeated the Bears to stay alive in the race for a wild card spot. Minnesota is slated to host the Rams for their next matchup while the Bears will face the Seahawks on Sunday.
With the loss, Chicago has officially been eliminated from playoff contention.