Kingsbury explains incident with Norman in 49ers' loss vs. Cards

Josh Norman

Midway through the second quarter of the 49ers' 31-17 loss to the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday at Levi's Stadium, veteran cornerback Josh Norman and Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury had some words after the 49ers stopped the Cardinals on third-and-18 from the San Francisco 19-yard line.

After the play, Kingsbury was hit with an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty for coming on the field to yell at the officials. The penalty would have moved the Cardinals back to the 36-yard line to set up a 54-yard field goal. But then Norman walked toward the Cardinals sideline and started having words with Kingsbury, getting hit with a taunting penalty that gave the Cardinals a first down. The 10-yard penalty on Norman was enforced first, and then the 15-yard penalty on Kingsbury was marked off, giving the Cardinals a first-and-25 at the 49ers' 26-yard line.

After the game, Kingsbury offered an explanation for the altercation.

“I like Josh, I know Josh," Kingsbury said. "I think it was just more friendly banner that got misinterpreted, but I shouldn't have been out there doing that.

“I think he was just telling me that wasn't a very smart thing to say to the officials to get the original penalty. But it wasn't, I'm telling you, it wasn't anything malicious.”


49ers coach Kyle Shanahan removed Norman after the penalty and the veteran did not return to the game.

“I didn't have much of a view on it," Shanahan said of the incident. "Josh told me that some of their coaches were talking to him, so he was talking back. Then he told me he got headbutted by one of their offensive linemen. And then he said he got the taunting penalty.”

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The 49ers entered Sunday with a golden opportunity to get back to .500 and pick up a game on the NFC West-leading Cardinals, who were playing without Kyler Murray, DeAndre Hopkins, J.J. Watt and A.J. Green.

Instead, Kingsbury coached circles around Shanahan, backup quarterback Colt McCoy shredded the 49ers' defense and San Francisco is once again searching for answers after an embarrassing performance.

“That we didn't play very well today at all. I was real disappointed," Shanahan said. "I thought we’d play really well. Had a good week of practice. I thought we'd even improve from the week prior, but obviously it didn't go that way.”

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