Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports



Following Sunday's game between Arizona and the San Francisco 49ers, Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians was asked how he would handle a late-game on-field scuffle that broke out between the two teams.

"Next game," Arians said. "Crap happens. It's not college. You don't get kicked out again next week."

With under four minutes left in the game, Arizona safety Antoine Bethea, who spent his previous three seasons in San Francisco, hit 49ers quarterback C.J. Beathard's helmet with his forearm as he was sliding at the end of a 10-yard run. Guard Laken Tomlinson shoved Bethea away from his rookie quarterback, and chaos ensued.

The scuffle resulted in three ejections, including 49ers running back Carlos Hyde. He was shoved to the ground by Cardinals defensive lineman Frostee Rucker and then jumped back up to get a few head smacks in himself. Rucker and Arizona linebacker Hasson Reddick, who was in on the tackle of Beathard and then threw a punch in the direction of 49ers center Daniel Kilgore, were the other players ejected.

Head coach Kyle Shanahan's message to Hyde: Way to protect your quarterback.

"There's a very fine line," Shanahan said. "I want our guys to be smart. I know Carlos [Hyde] is the one who ended up getting ejected. I didn't see Carlos throw a punch. I don't know exactly what he did. I did see him get punches get thrown at him. I did see him get knocked over a couple of times."


Hyde actually initiated the sub-conflict within the greater scuffle in defense of his quarterback by pushing on the helmet of Cardinals defensive lineman Corey Peters. Peters started to go after Hyde until 49ers guard Brandon Fusco managed to calm him down. However, that didn't stop Rucker from going after Hyde once Peters backed away.

After Hyde and Rucker got into it, massive 49ers tackle Trent Brown stepped in front of Rucker and quickly ended to skirmish.

"I really loved how [Hyde] went and got our quarterback's back," Shanahan continued. "I thought our quarterback had a couple of helmets to the head when he was in the pocket a few plays before and then he ended up scrambling and sliding, and he got one again. I think our players had had enough."


Shanahan wasn't the only one to praise Hyde for having his quarterback's back. According to NBC Sports Bay Area, general manager John Lynch greeted the running back enthusiastically on the sideline and "gave him a low five to tell him 'Good job.'"

What did Beathard, who got battered for 60 in-game minutes against the Cardinals, think about his teammates coming to his defense?

"That's awesome they had my back," Beathard said. "I knew they would. Guys like Carlos. It stinks that he got ejected, but it shows he's got my back. I really appreciate that and so does all the other guys that went at them as well."