Vikings Accept NFL Official’s Apology for Game-Tilting Mistake

Kevin O'Connell

Getty The Vikings have "mutual interest" from Jets center Connor McGovern, KSTP's Darren Wolfson reported.

The Minnesota Vikings were in control at halftime of Sunday’s win over the Washington Commanders.

Holding the Commanders to under 100 total yards and allowing just one third-down conversion in the first half, Washington didn’t have any answers for the Vikings defense.

That was until an unfortunate mishap titled the game in the Commanders’ favor on just the second play of the third quarter, setting the stage for another nailbiting, comeback victory by Minnesota.

Washington quarterback Taylor Heinicke threw a deep ball to receiver Curtis Samuel who had three defenders surrounding him. Minnesota safety Camryn Bynum tracked the ball and was well on his way to getting under the pass, intercepting the ball and giving the Vikings a spark to extend their lead coming out of the half.

That timeline was foiled by back judge Steve Patrick, who, caught in the middle of the play, collided with Bynum, leaving behind wreckage and a wide-open Samuel who secured the ball for a touchdown to give the Commanders their first lead of the day.

Bynum addressed the play that left the Vikings battling uphill and needing to mount a 10-point comeback to clinch an eventual 20-17 victory.

 Camryn Bynum ‘Frustrated’ by Ref’s Interference, Accepts Apology

Speaking to local media in a locker room interview following the Vikings’ win, Bynum admitted he was frustrated with Patrick, but accepted an apology from the official.

“It was frustrating. I knew I could have helped the team with an interception but obviously he was back there and I don’t know where he came from. It’s just unfortunate, but he’s a part of the field, so it’s not like it’s against the rules,” Bynum said, per Pioneer Press reporter Chris Tomasson.

While there was no rule broken, it was a mishap that led to the easiest touchdown of the game. Bynum chalked it up to the game and its unpredictable bounces.

“He apologized, and I told him, ‘It’s football,’ ” Bynum said. “(I showed) forgiveness. He’s human. He makes mistakes and I can’t hold it to him. It’s part of the game, and I just had to go back out there. But we got the win.”

NFL Addresses Player-Official Collison

Had the Vikings lost on Sunday, the collision between Bynum and Patrick would have drawn plenty of scrutiny around the league. The NFL did address the play afterward.

Tomasson revealed that NFL vice president of officiating Walt Anderson discussed the play after the game, telling a pool reporter the play was reviewed to see if Samuel was touched before he crossed the goal line. However, because there was no rule violation on colliding with an official, the contact Patrick had with Bynum was not part of the review.

“I want to ensure you that all officials are working to not be contacted by the players. … It’s just one of those unfortunate things, out on the football field, occasionally officials do contact players,’’ Anderson said, per Tomasson.

The Vikings overcame the play, allowing a season-low 263 total yards of offense and 17 points.

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