Coach Jim Harbaugh of the 49ers is seeking more information on the “inappropriate language” penalty given to 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick following one of his fourth-quarter interceptions in Sunday’s loss to the Bears.
The penalty only moved the ball from the San Francisco 6-yard line to the 3. But the mystery surrounding it was symbolic of the 49ers’ issues on a night when they were called for 16 penalties, their most in 14 seasons.
“Yeah, I’d like to find out about that,” Harbaugh said when asked if he’s curious about what happened.
Kaepernick was in on the tackle of Chicago cornerback Kyle Fuller, who returned the ball 20 yards. As Kaepernick was getting up, he apparently was jostled by two Bears linemen. He then appeared to shove Lamarr Houston and at least gesture with his head toward Houston. Kaepernick, however, said he “didn’t say anything” before the flag was thrown. And Houston told the Chicago Tribune that he didn’t hear anything.
“I said, ‘Nice pass,’ ” Houston told the newspaper.
The NFL didn’t back down, with side judge Laird Hayes telling CSN Bay Area that Kaepernick “knows what he said.”
After the game, Harbaugh was upset over the officiating but wouldn’t say much. Asked if he took issue with any of the calls, he said, “Not allowed to talk about that.”
His players weren’t as tight-lipped.
Wide receiver Anquan Boldin was called for a holding penalty that negated a 54-yard touchdown run by Frank Gore.
“You can see as clear as day, I didn’t grab the guy. I blocked the guy,” Boldin said. “I blocked, like, three people on that play. So what he saw, maybe we need to get him some contacts or whatever, but that was a bad call.”
The 49ers’ 16 penalties were their most since Jan. 3, 2000, when they also had 16 and six shy of their record of 22 on Oct. 4, 1998, against Buffalo.
As for the language infraction, the NFL is cracking down on everything from profanity to racial slurs to homophobic comments with a 15-yard unsportsmanlike penalty.
Et cetera – Harbaugh said he was “hopeful” offensive tackle Anthony Davis will practice this week after missing the past two games with a hamstring injury. His replacement, Jonathan Martin, allowed two sacks in the fourth quarter Sunday.