SANTA CLARA (Calif.) — Kyle Shanahan, San Francisco 49ers’ coach, understood why Dre Greenlaw was given a penalty for excessive roughness after a helmet-tohelmet hit on Justin Herbert, Los Angeles Chargers quarterback late in Sunday night’s first half.
Even though his team won with 22-16 to improve their record to 5-4, Shanahan stated that he didn’t believe Greenlaw should be ejected. He was still puzzled about why this decision was made.
Shanahan stated, “It kinda actually blew me mind.” “I get the penalty. “I understand the penalty. He was lowering his shoulders at the third down marker. But I need to find out what that means. Although I understand the importance of penalties and stuff, I still think he hit his helmet. However, I felt there must have been intent and something that was unnecessary. That was a huge play. It was shocking to me that we lost Greenlaw for the entire game. We hope they can help us understand why we lost Greenlaw.”
Greenlaw was ejected with 30 seconds remaining in the first period after Herbert’s hit. Third-and-6 from San Francisco’s 40. Herbert climbed up the middle to avoid pressure. The quarterback tried to dive but was stopped by safety Jimmie Ward from the Niners. He rammed him in the back and jolted him into Greenlaw who was approaching from Herbert’s left.
Herbert fell at the Niners’ 35 as Greenlaw’s helmet collided into Herbert’s. Officials immediately raised a flag in protest of the hit but took some time to consider the consequences before finally deciding to impose the penalty and expel Greenlaw.
Walt Anderson, the NFL’s senior vice-president of officiating, stated that while the penalty is called on field, the decision to eject Greenlaw comes from New York’s officiating offices. After Greenlaw raised his head and attempted forcible contact with Greenlaw, the officials in New York were able to decide if this was a flagrant act.
Anderson stated that the timing and the way in which the player was given the opportunity to make different choices and make a different choice all play into whether or not something is flagrant.
Anderson stated that Herbert was a “downed runner” after Ward’s initial hit.
Anderson stated, “He was down.” Anderson said that when Greenlaw lowered his head to make forcible contact with the runner, he was already on the ground. He was tackled because his knee was already down.
Herbert returned to the sidelines after the hit and was evaluated for a concussion. Backup Chase Daniel took the Chargers’ final three offensive snaps (5-4).
Herbert completed the concussion protocol before halftime, and he returned to play. Herbert completed 21-of 35 passing for 196 yards, a touchdown with an intercept and five carries for 22 yard.
Greenlaw, who was returning after a calf injury suffered in the previous season, led the Niners with seven tackles when he was ejected. Azeez Al Shaair, who was playing his first game since returning from a calf injury, posted three tackles.
Greenlaw is a “tough player to lose,” said Niners safety Talanoa Ufanga. He’s an energetic, aggressive guy. He’s a guy who goes out and makes plays. He’s very similar to his backup, Azeez. Both are very similar men who can play their games, move fast, and have a natural flow to the ball.
After further review, Greenlaw will be subject to additional discipline by the league. Anderson said that Greenlaw will be subject to additional discipline from the league, including a fine and further penalties. Anderson also suggested that a suspension could be in place.
Nick Bosa, a San Francisco defensive end, said that “that’s a difficult play.” “Things happen really quickly out there. I know him. He doesn’t want to cause any harm. He is just trying to make an impression. It’s what it is.”