San Francisco receiver Michael Crabtree says he’ll appeal a $2,500 fine for a late hit on the 49ers’ final offensive play in Sunday’s loss to the Eagles. And he should appeal, because he did nothing wrong.
Eagles cornerback Trevard Lindley intercepted a 49ers pass with 32 seconds left and then fell to the ground, knowing that the only way the Eagles could lose was if he fumbled. But then Lindley foolishly got back up without anyone touching him, and that’s when Crabtree wisely ran into Lindley and knocked the ball loose.
Lindley fell on the ball, and the Eagles took a knee on the next play to preserve the victory, but it was smart of Crabtree to attempt to force the fumble.
“Nobody touched him,” Crabtree said. “I was just trying to make a play. I didn’t see nobody touch him, so I was just trying to hit him.”
You can see the play at NFL.com, and it’s clear that Crabtree wasn’t trying to take a cheap shot — he was just trying to force a fumble, which is what any player should be trying to do in that situation.
The NFL’s decision to fine Crabtree for a heads-up play is strange. This is an appeal Crabtree should win.