Kyle Shanahan made it clear after Sunday’s 22-16 win over the Los Angeles Chargers that he did not agree with linebacker Dre Greenlaw being ejected late in the second quarter.
“No I didn’t think so at all,” Shanahan said postgame when asked if he thought the linebacker deserved to get tossed. “Kind of actually blew my mind. I understand the penalty, I totally get that right at the third down marker, he was lowering his shoulder, but I’ve got to learn what that is.”
Greenlaw was issued a 15-yard unnecessary roughness penalty and then ejected for a helmet-to-helmet hit on Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert as he was being pulled to the ground.
“I get how it is with the penalties and stuff, cause I think he did hit his helmet,” Shanahan continued. “I haven’t seen a replay, I’ll see it when i get home and watch it again, but I thought there had to be intent and something unnecessary. That was a big play right there. And for us to lose Greenlaw for the whole game off that, that really shocked me. Hopefully they can teach us that so we can understand why we lost one of our players.”
The officials did indeed provide an explanation for the ejection after the game. The decision to disqualify Greenlaw came from the league office in New York. NFL Senior Vice President of Officiating Walt Anderson explained why Greenlaw’s act was “flagrant” to pool reporter Matt Barrows.
“The timing, the manner in which the player had an opportunity to make other choices and to make a different decision,” Coleman said “Those all go into factoring whether something is flagrant. Those are just some of the factors that are considered.”
“The runner was a downed runner. He was already down by contact. That certainly plays into taking a look at the actions taken by the defender. If he had other choices in terms of his actions, we felt like the actions he took were flagrant in nature and that was the reason for disqualification.”
Coleman also said that had Herbert been a non-quarterback, the same action would have been taken.
Greenlaw didn’t speak to the media postgame, but did post the following to social media during the game.