Inability to Confirm the Use of a Closed Fist Spares Trent Williams from Ejection

49ers left tackle Trent Williams appeared to punch Giants defensive lineman A’Shawn Robinson during an altercation shortly before halftime on Thursday night, but Williams and Robinson received offsetting unnecessary roughness penalties and Williams was not ejected from the game.

After the game, NFL senior vice president of officiating Walt Anderson spoke to pool reporter Matt Barrows of about why the league did not disqualify Williams. Anderson said league officials reviewed the video of the incident and “couldn’t confirm that 100 percent from the standpoint of was it truly a closed fist with a strike.”

“When we have a flag thrown on the field for unnecessary roughness, members of the officiating department are able to review available video, Rule 19, to determine if there is a flagrant action that should result in a disqualification,” Anderson said. “We ended up looking at the video we had available to us, and we just didn’t see anything that rose to the level of flagrant, which is the standard that we have to apply to disqualify the player.”

Williams said he gave Robinson a “love tap” when he spoke to reporters after the game and said he doesn’t expect to be fined.

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