AP Photo/Ben MargotSan Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick (7) runs out of bounds as Green Bay Packers outside linebacker Clay Matthews dives for him during the second quarter of an NFL football game in San Francisco

AP Photo/Ben MargotSan Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick (7) runs out of bounds as Green Bay Packers outside linebacker Clay Matthews dives for him during the second quarter of an NFL football game in San Francisco

Jim Harbaugh calls out Clay Matthews for slap

Jim Harbaugh offered a parting shot at Green Bay Packers linebacker Clay Matthews: Slapping is not the tough-guy way.

Harbaugh said Monday that Matthews threw one punch and slapped 49ers left tackle Joe Staley when they tussled following Matthews' late hit on quarterback Colin Kaepernick in the second quarter of San Francisco's 34-28 season-opening win against Green Bay on Sunday.

“If you're going to go to the face, come with some knuckles, not an open slap,” Harbaugh said. “I think if that young man works very hard on being a tough guy, he'll have some repairing to do to his image after the slap.”

Matthews promised leading up to the game that Green Bay would target Kaepernick after he ran for a quarterback-record 181 yards to beat the Packers in the playoffs eight months ago, and Matthews did just that. On the play, he threw his right arm around the lower part of Kaepernick's neck.

“Like I said last week, usually a man will tell you his bad intentions if you just listen. That certainly was a cheap shot, launching, clotheslining to the neck-head area,” Harbaugh said. “Bad play.”

While Matthews was flagged for a late hit, Staley received an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty that Harbaugh didn't think was right.

Staley immediately came to Kaepernick's defense on the play. The penalties were offset and the 49ers scored on the next play, which officials later said should have been fourth down rather than a repeated third down.

The NFL said Monday that a review showed Staley should not have been penalized.

“After reviewing the play, Vice President of Officiating Dean Blandino determined that Joe Staley should not have been penalized,” spokesman Randall Liu said in an email. “It should have been first-and-goal for the 49ers from the Green Bay 3-yard line.”

“That's what I saw,” Harbaugh said.

Harbaugh praised referee Bill Leavy and his crew, and said San Francisco would have gone for it on fourth down anyway.

“First of all, it never should have been offsetting penalties, in my opinion,” Harbaugh said. “All in all, there's a lot of things going on in that stretch. The other one was the entire Packers bench cleared, practice squad players, coaches. Members of the Green Bay Packers are all out of their bench area down along the goal line. There was no repercussion for that as well.”

Also Sunday, Harbaugh had to change his game-day attire at halftime from Reebok to Nike. He said he could be subject to a fine.

“That was a mistake, grabbed the wrong one,” Harbaugh said. “It was an honest mistake, there was no malice intended. It won't happen again.”

NEXT GAME

49ers vs. Seahawks

WHEN: Sunday, 5:30 p.m.

WHERE: CenturyLink Field, Seattle

TV: NBC (KNTV, Ch. 11)

RADIO: KNBR (680 AM), KSAN (107.7 FM)

Colin KaepernickGreen Bay PackersJoe StaleyNFLSan Francisco 49ers

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

Private vehicles were banned from much of Market Street in January 2020, causing bike ridership on the street to increase by 25 percent and transit efficiency by as much as 12 percent. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
SFMTA board approves new Better Market Street legislation

Advocates say traffic safety improvements don’t go far enough to make up for lost bikeway

San Francisco City Hall is lit in gold and amber to remember victims as part of a national Memorial to Lives Lost to COVID-19 on Tuesday, Jan. 19, 2021. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
San Francisco joins national COVID memorial ceremony

San Francisco took part Tuesday in the first national Memorial to Lives… Continue reading

The S.F. Police Department has canceled discretionary days off and will have extra officers on duty for Inauguration Day, chief Bill Scott said Tuesday. <ins>(Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)</ins>
SF ‘prepared for anything’ ahead of inauguration, but no protests expected

Authorities boosting police staffing, security at City Hall

Zero Grocery is among the Bay Area organizations delivering groceries in plastic-free packaging. (Screenshot)
Bye Trump, hello hope: SF can show US what’s possible

City’s climate efforts will shine under new administration

Dr. Grant Colfax, director of the San Francisco Department of Public Health, said Tuesday that The City received only a fraction of the COVID vaccine doses it requested this week. <ins>(Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)</ins>
Unpredictable supplies leave SF running low on COVID vaccine

Reported reactions to Moderna shots prompt hold on 8,000 doses

Most Read