Trent Williams got away with one.
The All-Pro San Francisco 49ers left tackle blatantly threw, and landed, a punch on New York Giants defensive tackle A'Shawn Robinson in the waning moments of the first half of Thursday night's nationally televised contest at Levi Stadium. Only, Williams wasn't tossed, despite such an egregious act.
Sure, both Williams and Robinson were each flagged for unnecessary conduct on the play, but even after the NFL reviewed the play the officiating crew did not find sufficient evidence to toss the Niners' lineman.
"When we have a flag thrown on the field for unnecessary roughness," V.P. of officiating Walt Anderson told Thursday night's pool reporter, Matt Barrows of the Athletic, after the game. "Members of the officiating department are able to review available video, Rule 19, to determine if there is a flagrant action that should result in a disqualification. We ended up looking at the video we had available to us, and we just didn't see anything that rose to the level of flagrant, which is the standard that we have to apply to disqualify the player."
How is this not an ejection?pic.twitter.com/Ow9Z64xJgi
— Matt Lombardo ? (@MattLombardoNFL) September 22, 2023
The NFL rule book stipulates that throwing a punch calls for "disqualification" from the game, but it seems that Thursday night's crew somehow missed Williams' closed fist striking Robinson's facemask.
"In the video that we ended up reviewing, and in a lot of these primetime games, there is often a whole lot of camera angles, from the ones that we looked at, we just felt that it didn't rise to the level of flagrant."
Given that the game was broadcast on Amazon Prime, which offers a bevvy of camera angles not always available during the Sunday windows traditionally on cable, it's a bit surprising that the officiating crew wouldn't have had access to a video clear enough to determine that Williams in fact had landed a punch.
The 49ers went on to win the game 30-12, to remain unbeaten to start the season.
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