Free safety Jimmie Ward received a 15-yard penalty but nothing came out of his paycheck for a controversial play in the 49ers' Week 8 loss to the Seattle Seahawks.
The NFL did not fine Ward for a play on which he was called for unnecessary roughness against Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson. A late-hit infraction is subject to a $10,000 fine. But the play was deemed not worthy of a fine, the NFL determined.
The 49ers were trailing 30-20 in the fourth quarter, when Wilson slid in front of Ward for a 4-yard gain to set up a third-and-2 situation. After Ward made contact with Wilson, he was flagged for a penalty that gave the Seahawks a first down.
Ward and the 49ers disputed the call, believing Wilson timed his slide too late for Ward to avoid contact.
Afterward, 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan said he believes plays such as that put defensive players in impossible situations.
"I mean, you can just give him the first down, which happens a ton because guys are scared as can be to get those penalties," Shanahan said. "They're not trying to be cheap and they're not trying to get fined. It's a big point in the game if they get a first down, it's pretty much over and they're right there at the sticks.
"He is very good at what he did, waiting until the last second. It's just a huge challenge that not just our team has, the whole NFL has that. It's a tough play and I understand why we do it, you have to protect the quarterback and protect everyone, but it's very tough for our guys. I thought they tried to hold on as well as they can."