Brandon Aiyuk

Aiyuk hilariously apologizes for celebration penalty in 49ers' win

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Brandon Aiyuk was whistled for an unsportsmanlike penalty late in the 49ers’ 21-20 preseason win over the Denver Broncos on Saturday at Levi’s Stadium.

It would’ve been a devastating violation in any regular-season or playoff game. But in the preseason, that moment can just be chalked up to being a great teammate.

“Lance to Latu took over my body,” Aiyuk wrote on his Instagram story Sunday afternoon. “My apologies.”

Trailing by eight points late in the fourth quarter, 49ers backup quarterback Trey Lance connected with tight end Cameron Latu for a 22-yard touchdown. A few teammates, including Aiyuk, were standing on the sidelines and swarmed the field to congratulate Lance and Latu. Aiyuk ran right in front of an official and was flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct.

The 49ers had to attempt a potential game-tying two-point conversion from the 17-yard line instead of from the 2-yard line. It failed, but San Francisco would go on to win on a game-winning field goal by Jake Moody as time expired.

Kyle Shanahan would’ve had a much different reaction to the penalty if it wasn’t the preseason. The 49ers coach initially was ticked off but grew to appreciate the moment.

“I told him in the locker room it was genius because it led to us being able to go for the win at the end,” Shanahan told reporters after the game. “So, it worked out for them in the long run.”

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