In the third quarter on Monday night in Washington, the officials missed two personal fouls in rapid succession, one on each team.
First, 49ers tight end Vernon Davis lost a fumble — but only after his facemask was blatantly grabbed, which the officials didn’t see. Davis’s fumble was reminiscent of a play on Sunday, when Vikings running back Adrian Peterson fumbled after Packers linebacker A.J. Hawk grabbed his facemask. As I noted this morning, the NFL’s rules do not allow the referee to use instant replay to correct missed personal fouls.
Then, on the ensuing Washington possession, as Robert Griffin III threw a pass, he was kicked in the groin by 49ers linebacker Aldon Smith. The officials didn’t see that, either.
Smith’s groin kick left Griffin in pain, and it may leave Smith lighter in the wallet. Last year, when Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh kicked Texans quarterback Matt Schaub in the groin, it cost him a $30,000 fine. Smith may be fined a similar amount.