Sunday October 7th, 2012

Harrison Smith was the Vikings' first-round pick (29th overall) in the 2012 draft. (Brace Hemmelgarn-US PRESSWIRE)

Minnesota Vikings rookie safety Harrison Smith was ejected in the second quarter in the team's game against the Titans Sunday for making contact with an official.

After Antoine Winfield picked off Tennessee QB Matt Hasselbeck, Smith was engaged in a tiff with receiver Nate Washington. An official stepped in between the two and forcefully pushed Smith several yards away from Washington. Smith then put his hand on the officials' shoulder and tried to shove him out of the way to continue jawing with Washington.

Smith was flagged 15 yards for unsportsmanlike conduct and thrown out of the game, leaving Minnesota thin in the secondary.

The incident ran in stark contrast to what went on with the replacement officials in place -- the first few weeks of the season were littered with post-whistle scraps, as the replacements struggled to get control of their games. The league issued a memo to its teams, instructing coaches and players to stop bullying the replacement officials; Bill Belichick was then fined $50,000 for grabbing an officials' arm at the conclusion of his team's loss to Baltimore. Smith faces likely discipline from the league, at least in the form of a fine if not an additional suspension.

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