Ejected 49ers CB ‘Reached Out’ to Kyle Shanahan for Apology - Sport News

Ejected 49ers CB ‘Reached Out’ to Kyle Shanahan for Apology

As fighting ejections go, the penalty taken by San Francisco 49ers cornerback Deommodore Lenoir was about as mild as could be. With just under three minutes to play in the 49ers’ 28-16 win over the Seahawks in Week 14, there was a very obvious confrontation between 49ers linebacker Fred Warner and Seahawks receiver D.K. Metcalf following an interception by Warner. At the tail end of the dust-up, Lenoir entered the frame and gave Metcalf a half punch/half shove to the face. 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan was none too pleased.

Kyle Shanahan of the 49ers and cornerback Deommodore Lenoir

Lenoir’s intentions were obvious—he was defending Warner, the leader of the defense. But Warner had made it a point to lay off of Metcalf to ensure it was Metcalf who was penalized. Lenior changed that dynamic, as both he and Metcalf were tossed from the game.

It didn’t matter much because the score was settled. But it is the kind of mental mistake that could be costly as the takes rise for the 49ers. Shanahan said that, after the game, a sheepish Deommodore Lenoir went to him later to apologize.

“Yeah, he reached out to me last night,” Shanahan said when meeting with the media the following day. “He already knew how we’d feel about it. That’s something we feel very strong about.”

Kyle Shanahan: 49ers ‘Play as Physical as Anyone’

Fred Warner felt strongly about it, too, and video showed him after the play giving Lenoir a stern talking-to.

“Man, I know what (Deommodore Lenoir) is made of, he ain’t got to show me nothing out there,” Warner said in his postgame press conference. “I don’t want him hurting himself, you know what I’m saying? So, hurting himself or hurting the team, we know what he’s made of. Ain’t nothing to prove. But I always appreciate guys protecting each other out there. That doesn’t surprise me one bit.”

Kyle Shanahan had much the same reaction. He appreciated that Lenoir was there to help his teammate. But he did not want to see Lenoir putting himself in harm’s way.

“We’ll play as physical as anyone in this league, but we never go anywhere past what football is,” Shanahan said. “I love how he’s got all his guys’ backs and everything, but everyone else on our team has their backs also and that’s not what we do. We don’t throw punches to get penalties and we definitely don’t do it to get ejected. So, he was very remorseful of it and I believe it. It was a good lesson learned. I think he’ll be much better about that in the future.”

Deommodore Lenoir Had Perhaps His Best Game

One unfortunate aspect of Deommodore Lenoir’s ejection is that it came at the end of what might have been the best game of his career. He had a coverage grade at Pro Football Focus of 86.3, his highest of the season. He broke up two passes and allowed just two completions for 10 yards on the game.

With Charvarius Ward out for most of the game with a groin injury, Lenoir stepped up, and that did not escape the notice of Kyle Shanahan.

“Oh, I thought he played great,” Shanahan said. “We started out expecting to be nickel for most of that game. Mooney going down there on the second play, we had to switch it real fast and he didn’t even hesitate. He challenged the receivers all game, was able to come up with that interception that [DL] Nick [Bosa] took away from him. Then he almost had that first one that he had that just deflected off his hands. So, I thought Demo was unbelievable in the game.”


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