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Packers Tackle Fined for Late Hit that Injured Danny Smith



Steelers STs Danny Smith
Steelers special teams coach Danny Smith against the Green Bay Packers, Nov.12, 2023 - Ed Thompson / Steelers Now

Green Bay Packers tackle Zach Tom was fined $5,534 for the unnecessary roughness penalty on the game-ending interception. On the play, Tom hit Kazee late, running him into Steelers special teams coach Danny Smith, and a scuffle ensued. Smith suffered a torn rotator cuff in three places and will need surgery to fix the shoulder in the offseason. Since Tom is a first-time offender, the fine is just modest rather than eye-popping, like some of Jaylen Warren’s fines have turned out to be.

Smith still seemed to be in good spirits despite the injury and hit. Kazee said that after the game it was ‘uncalled for’ from Tom, and blasted him for causing potential injury. But Smith, 70, seemed to be looking inward rather than outward at anyone else. With his back turned, Smith got hit from behind.

“I’ve gotta learn to get the hell out of the way,” Smith said on Thursday after he took a huge hit from Kazee, courtesy of Tom, on the final play of Sunday’s 23-19 win over the Packers.

Kazee was headed out of bounds after intercepting Packers quarterback Jordan Love on the final play of regulation. Tom gave him a shove from behind, propelling Kazee into the 70-year-old coach.

“I don’t know what happened aside from that I do know I got tackled out of bounds,” Kazee said. “It was just uncalled for. I’ve been an injured guy, I’m just trying to stay healthy.”

Smith’s shoulder went numb after the collision, and he wouldn’t have been able to get out of the way of the scrum that developed over top of him if not for a timely rescue by tight end Rodney Williams, who pulled him out before he could be trampled.

“He’s done a good job, and not only that, I’m gonna have a hard time sitting him down,” Smith said. “I needed him. I couldn’t get up. When I landed on my shoulder, it went numb and I couldn’t get off the ground. I got trampled a couple times, but I couldn’t get off the ground. I rolled over on my back and when I rolled over on my back, he slid me out.”

The Steelers will be happy to see Tom hit with a fine for the play. Luckily, the fisticuffs did not ever turn into anything serious, and Smith was able to get out of the way from being trampled with his injured shoulder.