Shanahan explains his curious challenge in loss to Colts

Kyle Shanahan

Early in the second half of the 49ers' 30-18 loss to the Indianapolis Colts at Levi's Stadium on Sunday night, coach Kyle Shanahan decided to challenge a play that had no chance of being overturned, and consequently, the 49ers were docked a valuable timeout. It made very little sense in real time, and made worse by the fact that San Francisco would have benefitted from the ability to stop the clock once more in the late stages of the defeat.

Colts running back Jonathan Taylor fumbled the ball, but it was clearly and obviously recovered by the Colts. Simply put, anyone with the benefit of replay would have been able to tell that it wasn't going to be the 49ers' ball.

But apparently, a technical difficulty prohibited that transfer of information.

In speaking with reporters after the loss, Shanahan explained that the 49ers' headsets went out during the play in question. The officials initially were going to let him pick up the flag, but by rule, the attempted challenge was enforced.

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On one hand, it's more than plausible that such a technical difficulty could occur in the midst of a torrential downpour. On the other ... that's some really unfortunate timing.

Ultimately, it was a mistake by Shanahan, and a poorly-timed one at that. Very few members of the 49ers had a good game Sunday, and that included the head coach.


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