Those of you who thought Adrian Colbert was unfairly ejected last week aren’t going to like this. Per Ian Rapoport, the NFL has fined the San Francisco 49ers safety $28,075 for his unnecessary roughness penalty during the 49ers Week 1 preseason game against the Dallas Cowboys.
The penalty in question came from a hit Colbert laid on Cowboys wide receiver Cedrick Wilson. A late flag came in from the play which led to Colbert being ejected for targeting. The call for the flag and subsequent ejection was met with some controversy as replays showed Colbert’s helmet hitting more into the chest area. The actual rule is broken down here at Football Zebras. According to them, leading with the helmet, no matter the target, is illegal. Regardless, this was an argument through social media last week on if the ejection was warranted.
The folks at Football Zebras also pointed out that Colbert holds an NFL distinction as he is the first player in the league to be ejected for a live-ball hit by use of instant replay. This is a new rule for 2019 where the NFL can review any cases where there could be an ejection. Originally, Colbert was flagged 15 yards and that was it; the NFL stepped in later and made the call to send him to the locker room.
Given the fact it was an ejection from replay and the definition of the rule, there may have been no avoiding a fine for that whether he was right or wrong.