Bosa, Ward oppose Greenlaw's ejection after hit on Herbert


SANTA CLARA — The belief around 49ers team headquarters is unanimous that Dre Greenlaw should not have been ejected from San Francisco's 22-16 win over the Los Angeles Chargers on "Sunday Night Football" at Levi's Stadium. 

After the game, coach Kyle Shanahan shared that his “mind was blown” that Greenlaw was ejected for his hit on Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert. Shanahan's players echoed his sentiments along with the frustration of missing a key player in the second half of the game. 

After the game, defensive end Nick Bosa, who finished the game with four tackles and a sack of Herbert, defended his teammate’s intentions. 

“It’s a tough play,” Bosa said. "Stuff happens really fast out there. I know him. He’s not trying to hurt anybody. He’s trying to make a play. It is what it is.”  

Veteran safety Jimmie Ward disagreed with the ejection and knows that trying to stop or slow one’s momentum at the point when Herbert’s knee hit the grass is futile. Ward, however, had less empathy for the quarterback.  

“I really got to watch it again,” Ward said. “I really thought they were calling it on me. Nowadays you can’t touch a quarterback, but I was trying to kill him. I wish he would have stood up. Two times I wish he wouldn’t have slid so I could let him feel me.”  

Herbert was held to five carries for 22 yards, with his longest run being an 11-yard gain. Even without Greenlaw on the field, the 49ers' defense shut down the Chargers in the second half and held them to only 51 yards on the ground and 17 yards in the second half. 

Greenlaw was having an exceptional game in his return to the field after sustaining a calf injury in Week 7. Before leaving the game with 38 seconds remaining in the first half, the fourth-year linebacker already had recorded seven total tackles — six of which were solo.

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Fellow linebacker Fred Warner also recorded seven tackles — four solos, as well as notching three pass breakups. The All-Pro linebacker would have preferred that Greenlaw remained in the game, but added that linebacker Azeez Al-Shaair was ready for the call. 

“Anytime you lose your brother out there, that’s frustrating,” Warner said. “But Azeez came in and did a great job replacing him. He’s obviously been in that position before. He did a great job out there.”  

Al-Shaair recorded three tackles — one solo while filling in for Greenlaw. If the league does decide to discipline Greenlaw further, Al-Shaair would be the next man up. 

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