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49ers notes: Whitner welcomes replay of big hits

Published: Wednesday, Nov. 27, 2013 - 7:06 pm
Last Modified: Thursday, Nov. 28, 2013 - 4:29 pm

Safety Donte Whitner said the big hits that earned him and 49ers teammate Ahmad Brooks big fines earlier this season should be subject to replay review.

“I know it’s going to cost another team when it really matters,” Whitner said Wednesday. “And it might be the playoffs and it might be the Super Bowl. So we really need to get something done about that – replay, something, so it doesn’t cost us football games.”

Whitner was fined $21,000 after an end-zone hit in St. Louis on receiver Chris Givens on Sept. 26. He appealed the fine but isn’t sure if it’s been resolved.

Whitner, however, was more steamed about Brooks’ hit late in the Nov. 17 game in New Orleans and which he says cost the 49ers a win. Brooks’ blow to quarterback Drew Brees caused a fumble that the 49ers recovered, but the Saints retained possession when a penalty was called, and they eventually tied the score on the drive. Brooks also was fined $15,750.

In what will surely add to an already heated rivalry between the teams, Whitner said if Brees – listed at 6 feet and 209 pounds – was a little bigger and more robust, the 49ers would have won.

“He did everything he’s supposed to do,” Whitner said of Brooks. “It’s not his fault that Drew Brees is a little guy and can’t really take a hit. But that’s football. And (that play) really would have won the football game.”

Given a chance to clarify, Whitner did not back down from his assessment of Brees.

“He can’t take a hit,” he said. “Ahmad is what – 260 pounds. He’s what – 6-foot, 190? Because it looks bad. Because this guy’s in the weight room and he does his job, rush the quarterback and put a hit on him. It’s part of the game of football. (Brees) can’t take a hit, and Drew Brees and those guys are over there celebrating. But we kind of have a formula against those guys and hopefully we’ll see them again in the playoffs.”

On second thought – Defensive end Justin Smith’s sack total from Monday’s game went from zero to two after an official review Wednesday.

Smith tackled Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III for losses at the end of the first half and the end of the third quarter. Both plays originally were ruled as rushes for negative yards by Griffin even though neither was a designed run.

Wednesday’s ruling means Griffin was sacked six times Monday and Washington finished with 76 net passing yards. Justin Smith, Aldon Smith and Ahmad Brooks had two sacks each. Brooks leads the team with 8 1/2 sacks, Aldon Smith is second with 6 1/2, and Justin Smith has 4 1/2.

Et cetera – The 49ers added quarterback McLeod Bethel-Thompson to the practice squad after cutting him Tuesday to create roster space for wide receiver Michael Crabtree. It’s the first time since Jim Harbaugh became coach the team hasn’t had three quarterbacks on the active roster.

• Rookie wide receiver Quinton Patton practiced for the first time since breaking his foot in Week 4 against the Rams. Patton was listed as a limited participant.

• Wide receiver Mario Manningham (knee), linebacker NaVorro Bowman (knee, shoulder), cornerback Tarell Brown (ribs), guard Mike Iupati (knee), defensive end Ray McDonald (ankle) and defensive end Justin Smith (shoulder) didn’t practice Wednesday.


Read Matthew Barrows’ blogs and archives at www.sacbee.com/sf49ers and listen for his reports Tuesdays on ESPN Radio 1320.

Read more articles by Matthew Barrows



MATTHEW BARROWS

Matt was born in Blacksburg, Va., and attended the University of Virginia. He graduated in 1995, went to Northwestern for a journalism degree a year later, and got his first job at a South Carolina daily in 1997. He joined The Bee as a Metro reporter in 1999 and started covering the 49ers in 2003. His favorite player of all time is Darrell Green.

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