49ers news: Dre Greenlaw rightfully ejected? Ian Rapoport thinks so

San Francisco 49ers linebacker Dre Greenlaw (57) collides with Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert (10) Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports
San Francisco 49ers linebacker Dre Greenlaw (57) collides with Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert (10) Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports /

Amid the 49ers’ Week 10 win over the Chargers, Dre Greenlaw was questionably ejected for a hit on Justin Herbert, but Ian Rapoport doesn’t think it questionable.

There probably aren’t too many San Francisco 49ers fans who agree with the NFL’s ruling that linebacker Dre Greenlaw needed to be ejected from the Niners’ Week 10 game against the Los Angeles Chargers in the wake of his hit on quarterback Justin Herbert.

Perhaps those fans understood the original penalty on the play, stemming from Greenlaw hitting Herbert with his helmet, although Herbert was established as a runner in that situation and wasn’t completely unprotected. And some would argue Herbert’s angle was being changed by a tackle being made by safety Jimmie Ward, too, leading to Greenlaw having a tough angle regardless.

One he might not have been able to avoid.

Fans, analysts, players and coaches alike will debate whether or not the penalty was warranted, and they’ll especially debate the ejection. Sunday Night Football’s Tony Dungy ended up referring to the ejection as “a terrible call” once the halftime show began, and head coach Kyle Shanahan later told reporters after San Francisco that the ejection “really shocked me.”

Had the Chargers won the game (they didn’t), particularly if Greenlaw’s ejection ended up playing a bigger role, there’d likely be much more outrage from the 49ers’ vantage point.

Still, that doesn’t mean the incident will go without fallout.

Ian Rapoport feels Dre Greenlaw ejection was warranted

On Monday, NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport joined KNBR 680’s Murph & Mac Show (h/t 49ers Webzone) to talk about the Niners’ win and, more specifically, the Greenlaw incident.

Interestingly enough, Rapoport disagreed with both Dungy and Shanahan about the nature of Greenlaw’s intent:

"I thought he should have been ejected. It was a very clear helmet-to-helmet, head down … like, he hit him helmet-to-helmet. It’s literally what the rule was created for. And I don’t know that you can officiate intent. He literally hit him with the crown of his helmet.He hit him in the head. That’s bad. But if he was being pulled down a little, then he would have speared him in the chest, which is also bad. It’s all bad. I’m watching, and I’m seeing all the comments, and people like, “He shouldn’t have been ejected.” I’m like, “This is what the rule was created for.”"

Rapoport wasn’t sure, however, if Greenlaw would receive any sort of suspension or fine stemming from the incident.

Should Greenlaw be suspended, however, fellow linebacker Azeez Al-Shaair would fill in his stead, as was the case in the second half of Sunday night’s contest.

You can check out KNBR’s full interview with Rapoport below:

The interesting part of all this is, had it been a Chargers player hitting a San Francisco player helmet to helmet, most 49ers fans would probably agree with the ejection and probably wouldn’t even mind a suspension.

That’s just the nature of any fanbase, honestly.

Either way, one can hope Herbert (who reentered the game after being evaluated for a head injury) is OK, and Greenlaw finetunes his tackling just a bit more.

Next. Grades, analysis from 49ers' narrow win over Chargers. dark