San Francisco 49ers

Kwon Alexander ejected early in return to Tampa

Postgame Buzz: San Francisco 49ers win season opener 31-17 over Tampa Bay Buccaneers

The Sacramento Bee's Chris Biderman gives his Postgame Buzz from the San Francisco 49ers' 31-17 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday, Sept. 8, 2019.
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The Sacramento Bee's Chris Biderman gives his Postgame Buzz from the San Francisco 49ers' 31-17 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday, Sept. 8, 2019.

Kwon Alexander had an eventful first quarter in his return to Tampa Bay. He also wasn’t around to finish it.

The 49ers linebacker, playing his first game with his new team against his former team, led with his helmet on a hit of quarterback Jameis Winston and was ejected for making contact to the head with 1:02 left in the opening quarter.

The NFL initiated new targeting rules in 2018 that allowed officials to eject players for leading with their helmet and making contact to opposing players’ heads. The league, of course, emphasizes safety for quarterbacks.

Alexander left the game after making three tackles and dropping an interception. He signed a four-year, $54 million contract to join San Francisco in the spring after tearing his ACL in October.

The 49ers fell behind 7-3 midway through the second quarter when Jimmy Garoppolo threw an interception returned for a touchdown by Vernon Hargreaves III.

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