Despite the win, Shanahan Greenlaw baffled his expulsion

SANTA CLARA, CA – San Francisco 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan realized why linebacker Dre Greenlaw took the penalty for unnecessary roughness after Los Angeles Chargers’ Justin Herbert was injured late in the first half of Sunday night’s game.

But even after his team won 22-16 to lead 5-4, Shanahan said he didn’t think Greenlaw should have been sent off and remains confused as to why that decision was made.

“It kind of blew my mind,” Shanahan said. “I understand the penalty kick. I totally got it on the third bound down, he was lowering his shoulder, but I have to learn what this is. I understood how it’s done with penalty kicks and stuff because I think he hit his helmet…but I thought I should There’s an intent and something superfluous, and that was a big play there. For us to lose Greenlaw throughout the match really shocked me. So, I hope they can teach us that we can understand why we lost one of our players.”

Greenlaw was sent off 30 seconds before the end of the first half after Herbert was injured. In third and sixth place at the age of 40 in San Francisco, Herbert rushed halfway to avoid the pressure. When the quarterback attempted a dive, the Niners safety Jimmie Ward hit him from behind, sending him forward to Greenlaw, who was approaching to Herbert’s right.

Greenlaw’s helmet collided with Herbert when Herbert fell at the Niners ’35. Officials immediately took note of the hit, but spent some time deliberating before they chose to carry out the penalty and take out Greenlaw.

According to Walt Anderson, senior vice president of the NFL, while the penalty is being called on the field, the decision to dismiss comes from official offices in New York. When Greenlaw lowered his head and made a forced call, it was up to officials in New York to determine if the action was blatant.

Anderson said “the timing, the way the player had the opportunity to make other choices and make a different decision” were all factors in deciding if something was glaring.

Anderson said that from the officials’ point of view, the first blow from Ward made Herbert a “frustrated runner.”

“He fell,” Anderson said. “whenever [Greenlaw] He lowered his head and made a forced connection, the runner had already fallen to the ground. His knee was already on his knee and it was treated.”

After the hit, Herbert went to the sideline and entered the blue tent to be evaluated for a concussion while Chase Daniel handled the last three offensive shots of the inning for the Chargers (5-4).

Herbert removed the first-half concussion protocol and returned to the match. He finished 21 of 35 passes for 196 yards and landed with an interception, and had five buses for 22 yards.

Greenlaw, who was returning from a calf injury, led the Niners with seven tackles by the time he was sent off. Aziz El Shaer, who was in his first match of the injured reserve after spraining his knee, replaced Greenlaw and made three tackles.

“He’s a tough player to lose,” Talanoa Huvanga Salama Niners said of Greenlow. “He’s a very energetic and aggressive guy. A guy who gets out there and flies toward the ball, and does the plays he does. But if you look at his reserve at Aziz, he’s just like him. They’re two very similar players who can just flow on the ball and play his game and be fast and physical.”

Greenlaw is subject to additional discipline from the league upon further review of the play. This will likely include a fine and further penalties, including suspension, according to Anderson.

“This is a tough game,” said Nick Bosa, the San Francisco defense end. “Things happen really fast in there. I know him. He’s not trying to hurt anyone. He’s just trying to make a play. That’s what it is.”

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