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Za’Darius Smith named NFC Defensive Player of the Week

A well-deserved honor

NFL: International Series-Minnesota Vikings at New Orleans Saints Peter van den Berg-USA TODAY Sports

Outside linebacker Za’Darius Smith had a huge afternoon in the Minnesota Vikings’ 34-26 victory over the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday at U.S. Bank Stadium, and that performance was recognized on Wednesday.

Smith was named the NFC’s Defensive Player of the Week for what he did against the Cardinals to help key Minnesota’s win.

#55 was a thorn in Arizona’s side all afternoon, as he registered three sacks of Kyler Murray along with four additional pressures and three quarterback hits. This is the third time in his career that he’s won a Defensive Player of the Week Award, and he’s the first member of the Vikings to be honored with the award since Danielle Hunter back in 2019.

This is just the latest big performance in what has been an outstanding season for Smith thus far. He currently leads the NFL in tackles for loss with 13 and is tied for the lead in sacks with 8.5. He also ranks fourth in the league in quarterback pressures with 37 in the Vikings’ first seven games.

Smith is the third player for the Vikings this year to be honored with a weekly award. Kicker Greg Joseph (Week 4) and punter Ryan Wright (Week 6) have both been named the NFC’s Special Teams Player of the Week so far this season.

Congratulations to Za’Darius Smith on being named the NFC’s Defensive Player of the Week for Week 8 in the NFL!