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49ers' Ward not fined by NFL for hit on Seahawks' Wilson

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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.

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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.

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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."