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Vikings safety Anthony Harris named NFC Defensive Player of the Week

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Minnesota Vikings defensive back Anthony Harris (41) intercepts a pass intended for Atlanta Falcons tight end Luke Stocker (80) during the third quarter at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis on Sept. 8, 2019. Harrison Barden / USA TODAY Sports
 

EAGAN, Minn. — A Vikings safety not named Harrison Smith has been named NFC Defensive Player of the Week.

After intercepting two passes and recovering a fumble in last Sunday’s opener against Atlanta, Anthony Harris was honored on Wednesday, Sept. 11.

Last season, Smith, a four-time Pro Bowl selection, was named NFC Defensive Player of the Week for his performance in the opener. Smith also won the award in Week 16 in 2017.

Harris played a key role in a dominant defensive performance. The Vikings took a 28-0 lead and defeated the Falcons 28-12 at U.S. Bank Stadium.

Discussing the game on Monday, Harris gave plenty of credit to Minnesota’s defensive line for pressuring Atlanta quarterback Matt Ryan.

“You get an interception and the person who catches the ball usually gets a bit of the credit, but if you go look at the tape you see those guys up front really pressuring the quarterback, Harris said. “I tip my hat to those guys.’’

It marks the 11th time a Vikings player has been named Defensive Player of the Week since Mike Zimmer took over as coach in 2014. It is the fourth straight time Minnesota has had a player of the week named after an opener. Prior to Smith’s honor last season, linebacker Eric Kendricks won the defensive award in 2016 and quarterback Sam Bradford the offensive award in 2017.

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