It was a seemingly innocent tackle on the Minnesota Vikings’ first drive of Sunday’s game at the Washington Redskins. Adrian Peterson ran for 5 yards and DeAngelo Hall brought him down, with his helmet coming off.
To the Vikings running back, it was a moment of Hall getting “caught up in his emotions.”
“He slapped me in the face. He didn’t follow through with it, but he slapped me in the face,” Peterson said Sunday after the Redskins’ 38-26 victory. “I was just telling him not to do me like that, and he looked me in the eyes and he knew I meant business. But respect to him, sometimes I know you get caught up in your emotions and do things you don’t mean.”
Hall responded to that accusation Monday, calling it “asinine.” The veteran cornerback pointed out that had it been a big deal reporters would not have waited to bring it up.
“I have no idea what he’s talking about,” Hall said on a teleconference. “For it to be brought up a day later and talking about I slapped him in the face, that’s just asinine.”
But Hall knew what play Peterson was talking about.
“I actually run up on him, make a tackle and my helmet kind of pops off. The momentum of me going to hit him, I kind of push right off, right after I make the tackle I push right off, I don’t know if it’s him or the ground,” he said. “That’s the only contact I had with him.”
It’s an almost ideal case of he said, he said. Replays of the incident appeared to show Hall pushing on Peterson’s helmet, but it was unclear whether he was just trying to get up.
“Once I make the play and my helmet pops off, we’re face to face but I don’t say a word,” Hall said. “I just kind of nod my head at him. That’s kind of the gist of that story.”
And Peterson’s reaction to the situation surprised Hall because of what he heard on the field when it happened.
“After the play, he actually said to me, ‘That’s a good play, D-Hall. That’s a good play,’ ” he said. “That’s why, had he really been talking trash to me face-to-face and me talking trash, I think you guys know my reaction would’ve been a little different than what it was.”