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Vikings safety Andrew Sendejo suspended one game for hit on receiver Mike Wallace

October 23, 2017 GMT

Vikings safety Andrew Sendejo was suspended one game by the NFL for a violation of safety-related playing rules in Sundays 24-16 win against the Ravens.

Sendejo was flagged for unnecessary roughness when he hit Ravens receiver Mike Wallace in the head on a crossing route, as he was wrapped up by Vikings cornerback Xavier Rhodes. The hit cost the Vikings 15 yards and ultimately one game for Sendejo. Hes eligible to return to the Vikings on Monday, Oct. 30, a day after the Vikings game against the Browns in London.

In its press release, the NFL said Sendejos hit on Wallace violated the unnecessary roughness rule by using any part of a players helmet or facemask to butt, spear or ram an opponent violently or unnecessarily.

The violation was flagrant and warrants a suspension because it could have been avoided, Jon Runyan, NFL V.P. of Football Operations, wrote in a letter to Sendejo, was violently directed at the head and neck area and unreasonably placed both you and and an opposing player at risk of serious injury.

The suspension came just a couple hours after head coach Mike Zimmer staunchly defended Sendejos hit. Zimmer said hell send the play to the league to be reviewed again.

I think the receiver took five steps after he caught the ball and I think [Sendejo] hit him with a glancing blow, Zimmer said. I know what [the officials] told me, but Im going to turn it in and see what they say. [Wallace] established position as a runner, took two extra steps and Xavier [Rhodes] was trying to pull the ball out, which he ended up doing. [Wallace] went down a little bit, but in my opinion he was a runner.

Sendejo could appeal the suspension. If upheld, it would cost him $173,529, or one-seventeenth of his $2.95 million base salary this season. The 30-year-old Vikings safety was fined earlier this year, $24,309, for a hit to the helmet of Buccaneers tight end Cameron Brate in Week 3.

The Vikings started Anthony Harris in Sendejos place when he missed a 23-10 win against the Packers due to a groin injury.