Fred Warner should warn ’em next time.
In the second quarter of Sunday’s NFC championship game between the Rams and 49ers, quarterback Matthew Stafford threw an ill-timed pick in 49ers territory that took away a potential scoring chance for the Rams. That’s not the controversial part.
Soon after throwing the interception, Stafford seeked out officials and seemed to plead his case for a penalty. On replay, viewers saw why: Stafford was leveled by 49ers linebacker Fred Warner from behind after the interception.
The replay shows that Warner seems to load up and hit Stafford in the side of the helmet with his own helmet, knocking him to the ground. Stafford was fine after the hit, but it could have ended a bit worse.
The play wasn’t flagged, though it should have been: On an interception, the quarterback is deemed a defenseless player, meaning the play should have been flagged for an unnecessary roughness penalty.
The refs didn’t see it, apparently, and the play wasn’t flagged. Plenty of viewers thought there should have been some punishment for Warner following the hit:
Fred Warner should have been ejected for that hit on stafford. Illegal and dirty. Intentionally led with helmet
— Michaiah💫 (@lilstint2) January 31, 2022
Late on this, but … that wasn’t a great look for Fred Warner. #49ers
— Eric Branch (@Eric_Branch) January 31, 2022
That is beyond dirty from Fred Warner
— Shan Shariff (@1053SS) January 31, 2022
Fred Warner getting called out on the broadcast for a dirty hit on Matthew Stafford after the interception. Straight to the side/back of the head. Pretty uncharacteristic of Warner. #49ers
— Rob Lowder (@Rob_Lowder) January 31, 2022
To add insult to injury, the 49ers took a 10-7 lead into half.