Minnesota Vikings safety Harrison Smith got himself disqualified from Sunday's 30-7 win over the Tennessee Titans after making contact with an official. It appears he'll avoid serious punishment for his actions.
ESPN's Adam Schefter reported Monday that Smith is expected to be fined, but not suspended, for the incident.
The incident occurred in the second quarter following an Antoine Winfield interception. Smith was seen shoving Tennessee wide receiver Nate Washington before back judge Steve Freeman stepped in to pull him away. As he was being tugged from the play, Smith pushed Freeman away. He was penalized 15 yards and ejected.
Smith apologized for his behavior after the game, an act that likely helped his cause. He did so again on Monday, according to 1500ESPN.com.
"It wasn't even a play so it was just stupid for me to be involved," said Smith, the Vikings' first-round pick in April's draft. "I just got kind of caught up in the heat of the moment and at the end of the day you can never touch the officials. They have a hard enough job as it is and to make it harder on them is just stupid and is something I don't ever want to do from this point on."
If Freeman went to the ground after the push, Harrison probably doesn't get off the hook here. The thin line between a huge story and a healthy fine.
UPDATE: The NFL will not suspend or fine Smith, according to Judd Zulgad of 1500 ESPN. Ray Anderson, the NFL's executive vice president of football operations, determined that Smith's ejection from the game was sufficient punishment, Zulgad reports.
Follow Dan Hanzus on Twitter @danhanzus.