Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

NFL penalizes 49ers for rookie minicamp violation

Jun 10, 2021 at 1:53 PM--

The NFL has penalized the San Francisco 49ers for an undisclosed violation of the offseason work rules during the team's rookie minicamp, which took place between May 14-16. Tom Pelissero was the first to report the news.

Early speculation points to the video clip below of rookie cornerback Deommodore Lenior going against wide receiver Austin Watkins Jr. as the culprit. The video prompted Hall of Fame cornerback Deion Sanders to write, "Somebody call the police because that was AGGRAVATED ASSAULT" via Twitter.

The drills were supposed to be non-contact.

While speaking with reporters on Wednesday, head coach Kyle Shanahan didn't indicate that the team was forced to cancel any portion of the offseason program. The 49ers were scheduled to hold a mandatory minicamp next week, but Shanahan opted to cancel the remaining practices because of concerns over injuries. On Monday, San Francisco lost offensive lineman Justin Skule and safety Tarvarius Moore to serious injuries. However, rookies were expected to remain at the facility over the next week to get extra instructional work.

That won't happen now.

"We're still going to keep the rookies around here for a little bit, some more than others," Shanahan said. "I kind of decided a while ago we weren't going to do minicamp. You know, I rarely do minicamp when we get nine OTAs in. We usually do one practice, and then we have like a team-building thing throughout that. And kind of decided earlier in this, if we could get our OTAs in, I wasn't going to keep them for minicamp because it's a week longer than usual."

Added Shanahan: "You know, my plan was to get eight (practices). And I was going to surprise them on Thursday and take everyone bowling. But after our seventh practice, with those two injuries and just the aura it gave to it, I wasn't going to come back and do one more just to do one more. So I surprised them on day eight instead of day nine."

The 49ers are on break until training camp at the end of July. Players will return to Santa Clara on July 27 and return to the practice field on July 31.

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