Sean McVay could have been penalized and could be fined for running into end zone

San Francisco 49ers v Los Angeles Rams
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One of the strangest moments from Week 18 happened when the Rams scored a touchdown and the celebration included coach Sean McVay running down the sideline and into the end zone.

The field judge, Steve Zimmer, ushered McVay out of the field of play, with a smile. Zimmer also could have (and arguably should have) thrown a flag.

Rule 13 spells out the limitations on non-players entering the field. For McVay, it was a double violation — leaving the lateral confines of the bench area and entering the field. (Coaches may exit the bench area along the sideline only to call a timeout or challenge an on-field ruling, for a play happening at or near the goal line.)

Per a league source, McVay could still be fined or the infraction.

If a penalty had been called, the 49ers would have had the option of choosing to enforce the 15-yard foul for unsportsmanlike conduct on the try or the ensuing kickoff.

Ultimately, McVay’s punishment may have come from the simple fact that his team blew a 17-0 lead and permitted the 49ers, who have now beaten the Rams six times in a row, to enter the postseason field.

Is it a big deal? No. But if the No Fun League is going to penalize and fine players for displaying emotions that cross the dreaded line into illegal “posturing,” it’s only fair for the rules to be applied to coaches, too.

32 responses to “Sean McVay could have been penalized and could be fined for running into end zone

  1. “Per a league source, McVay could still be fined or the infraction.” AKA I noticed first and if I jump really high off my horse maybe the NFL will finally be able to see me.

  2. At least he didn’t interfere with a player running along the sideline with the ball in hand like another coach did.

  3. I am a 49ers fan, so I am coming from an admittedly biased view, but seeing McVay run down into the end zone and inject himself into the middle of the touchdown celebration was pretty nauseating. I think I would have felt that way even if it wasn’t against my team. There is something about McVay that very unlikeable, like his carefully calculated haircut and his decision to go shirtless to show off his pecs when the Rams were featured on Hard Knocks. Something Napoleonic going on with this dude and I, for one, am glad that Kyle Shanahan owns his soft Rams squad.

  4. I noticed it. I was surprised there wasn’t a flag. It looked like the official saw it as harmless (which it was), so didn’t throw the flag. But there’s a rule and it should be enforced.

  5. Didn’t bother me or most Niners fans I know a bit. At least the guy shows emotion and not in the tantrum form like the Harbaughs. It seemed to light a fire under Kyle though.

  6. I’d think it would be kind of hard to justify after absolutely NOTHING became of AB’s strip tease & running across the end zone while the team was still actually playing on the other end of field…. But hey, the NFL is so convoluted in its discipline approach who knows what will become of it…..

  7. To everyone who think he should not have been penalized or fined…he should because it’s a RULE. Rules are in place for a reason. A WR twitches and gets called for a false start – but what if it didn’t hurt anything? Is that OK, where do you draw the line? A 12th defensive player is running off the field & gets penalized because the ball is snapped a step before he gets off the field. But it didn’t hurt anything!

  8. No surprise the Refs missed this call.


    The ref didn’t miss anything, he was standing right there and told him to get back on the sidelines

  9. Refs are instructed to keep those flags tucked away when it comes to their fledgeling LA tv market.

  10. Sort of like the Bucs should have been penalized for 12 men when Antonio Brown ran off the field?

  11. 49er fans crack me up. We “own” the Rams. Is that the end goal? You have only won 39 regular season games the last 5 years and that’s sub a sub .500 record. Nice achievement. Losers.

  12. The Rams should fire the hold-me-back guy they pay to follow McVay around and latch onto the coach by the lovehandles. Clearly not doing his vital job.

  13. He would have done this in the super bowl too except for one little reason. No td. Guy is amateur hour.

  14. McVay probably bribed the ref with some prune juice. Seriously, we don’t need full time officials, we need officials that aren’t collecting Social Security checks

  15. 100% should have been a flag but the Rams are one of the many darling teams the NFL likes , so therefore the flag wasn’t tossed. Sponsered by Draft Kings.

  16. You call it the No Fun League can’t the coaches have a little fun without applying the rule of law?

  17. McVay looks like he can still play. You know, he was the Georgia State Player of the Year in high school, beating out Calvin Johnson (Megatron).

  18. Perhaps the League should suggest he makes a sizable donation to the charity of his choice?

  19. Should absolutely be fined, since there was no penalty. It was a minor infraction, but when you look the other way, that’s when it becomes unfair and inequitable.

  20. Who cares, no big deal except for he lost a 17 point lead. Still good coach from good 49er blood

  21. Wait a minute. If the unsportsmanlike was called then enforced on the try the extra point would’ve been lined up at the 30, a 48 yard attempt. Tell me that would not have been significant in a game that ended up going into overtime.

  22. If this is not dealt with sternly, next thing you know, unhappy players will tear their uniform off, run into the end zone and start doing jumping jacks.

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