Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports


Kyle Shanahan blames headset issues for odd challenge during 49ers-Colts

Oct 25, 2021 at 8:06 AM--


Nobody could figure out what San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan was challenging. Early in the second half of his team's embarrassing 30-18 home loss to the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday night, the coach threw his red flag onto the field. Shanahan was apparently challenging the play that saw Colts running back Jonathan Taylor fumbling the football.

That left everyone scratching their heads.

Anyone with access to the replays could quickly tell Shanahan that Indianapolis clearly recovered the football. However, the coach didn't have access to the replays and couldn't tell what was happening from his sideline view. To make matters worse, he couldn't get a hold of anyone who did have access to the replay.

"Yeah, that was a mess-up by us," Shanahan said after the game when asked about the decision to challenge the play. "I didn't see it at all. I'm looking down, looking at the stuff, and we knew there was a fumble. Everybody was yelling out, 'There was a fumble,' and stuff, and to throw it.

"Then, it was very weird, but the headsets completely went out, and that's why if you see me sitting there, talking to the guys, I was like, 'I threw it because we thought it was a fumble,' but I can't get a hold of anybody."

That is some unfortunate timing. At first, it looked like the officials were prepared to pretend the challenge didn't happen, as there were clearly some communication issues. The NFL, however, overruled, and the mix-up cost the 49ers a timeout.

"They were going to give it back to me," Shanahan continued. "They said it was alright, and let me take it back, but the NFL called and said I had to stick with it. Once we talked to them, we knew we were kind of screwed on it."





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