DENVER — Vikings quarterback Josh Dobbs lost a fumble in the first quarter Sunday night on a questionable hit by Denver Broncos safety Kareem Jackson, a play that marked a key turnaround for the Vikings. events in Minnesota’s eventual 21-20 loss.
Watching in real time from the sideline, Vikings coach Kevin O’Connell said he thought Jackson, playing in his first game after a two-game suspension for similar hits, should have been penalized after bowing his head. and drive the top. of his helmet on his chest and Dobbs’ mask.
One of the NFL’s health and safety observers noticed the contact and sent Dobbs to undergo a concussion check, which he passed. But the Broncos recovered the fumble at the Vikings’ 30-yard line and ultimately converted it into a 31-yard field goal by Wil Lutz.
Asked if he thought Jackson should have been punished, O’Connell said: “On the field, I felt that way. I’ll have to go back and look at it. It usually happens pretty quickly out there, but at the time, coming from the second level of The way he did it, it seemed like a pretty direct hit from helmet to helmet. But I’m sure [officials] I saw it differently in the work. “They’re officiating a quick play right there.”
Dobbs was actually a runner on the play; Vikings tight end TJ Hockenson lined up under center and threw the ball to Dobbs in an attempt to convert a third-and-1. That means Dobbs didn’t deserve the protection given to quarterbacks in the pocket.
But NFL players are also prohibited from lowering their heads and making forced contact with their helmets against opponents, a rule that is not often noted because it is difficult for officials to see. But such attacks often result in warning letters, fines and, occasionally, suspensions.
Jackson was suspended for three games, reduced to two on appeal, after hitting Green Bay Packers tight end Luke Musgrave when he was in a defenseless position in Week 7.
In addition to his suspension, Jackson has been fined four times this season and ejected from two games.
Dobbs said he “felt good” after the hit, explaining why he passed the concussion test, and deferred to O’Connell on the question of whether Jackson should have been penalized.
“I haven’t had a chance to see it,” Dobbs said. “That’s something I’ll check out. I have to take care of the ball. Third-and-1, I’m trying to make a play, get the first down, stay on the field, move the sticks. I’ll let the coaches and everyone else figure those things out with refereeing. But at the end of the day, I have to take care of the football in that situation, especially at the start of the game.”
The Vikings committed a total of three turnovers, including an interception by Dobbs and a fumble by running back Alexander Mattison. The Broncos turned those mistakes into nine points, almost half of the night’s total.