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Josh Norman’s ‘friendly banter’ with Kliff Kingsbury leads to costly penalty in San Francisco 49ers’ loss to Arizona Cardinals

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SANTA CLARA, Calif. — An apparently playful argument between San Francisco 49ers cornerback Josh Norman and Arizona Cardinals coach Kliff Kingsbury in the second quarter of Sunday’s meeting quickly devolved into a costly Niners penalty and Norman’s benching.

The 10-yard taunting penalty against Norman gave Arizona a first down on a drive that ended with a field goal that put the Cardinals up by 17 with 4:02 left in the second quarter in a game they’d go on to win 31-17.

Norman did not return to the game after the costly infraction, with veteran Dre Kirkpatrick replacing him at outside cornerback.

“I wanted him to get out right there,” 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan said. “I wanted him to cool down a little bit. And then in the third quarter, we just kept Dre in, which wasn’t my decision but I was OK with it.”

The exchange actually started with what appeared to be a harmless back-and-forth between Norman and Kingsbury.

In a first half in which defensive stops were hard to come by, the 49ers finally appeared poised to get off the field with 6:47 left in the first half.

On third-and-18 at the 49ers’ 19, the Niners stopped receiver Rondale Moore for a 2-yard loss, but before the play ended, Kingsbury jumped on the field to yell at the officials.

Kingsbury earned a penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct, which would have moved the ball back to San Francisco’s 36 and set up a 54-yard field goal or a punt. Instead, Norman entered the fray, exchanging words with Kingsbury near Arizona’s sideline.

“I like Josh, I know Josh,” Kingsbury said. “I think it was just more friendly banter that got misinterpreted. But I shouldn’t have been out there doing that. … I think he was just telling me that wasn’t a very smart thing to say to the official to get the original penalty. But I’m telling you it wasn’t anything malicious.”

As Kingsbury and Norman yelled at each other, Cardinals offensive tackle D.J. Humphries stepped in and appeared to lightly headbutt Norman, setting off a chain of events that would lead to the 10-yard taunting penalty.

Instead of offsetting flags, league rules stipulate that the foul on the field, in this case Norman’s, is assessed first, thus giving Arizona a first down but moving the ball half the distance to the goal. Then, after that, the foul on Kingsbury is enforced, moving it back 15 yards but giving Arizona a first-and-24 at San Francisco’s 25.

“I don’t even know what happened,” 49ers linebacker Fred Warner said. “I saw that there was a flag for something that they did. I didn’t even realize Josh was getting into it with their players. That’s a big penalty. I didn’t realize it was going to result in an automatic first down.”

The Niners still managed to keep Arizona from scoring a touchdown but the Cardinals booted a 26-yard field goal four plays later in a game they never trailed.

Norman, who was not made available to speak to media after the game, is tied for second among cornerbacks in the league with five enforced penalties in his six games on the season.

While the penalty was far from the lone reason the 49ers lost, it was a costly mistake in a game full of them as they dropped to 3-5 overall and 0-3 in the NFC West division.

“It’s very disappointing,” Shanahan said. “I don’t care what happens, whether the refs are right or wrong, you can’t give them the chance to be wrong. It doesn’t matter to me whether you deserved it or you didn’t, it’s that you got it and it’s very easy to avoid those. You get the hell away.”

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Las Vegas Raiders RB Kenyan Drake to have season-ending ankle surgery

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HENDERSON, Nev. — Las Vegas Raiders running back Kenyan Drake will travel “in a few days” to undergo season-ending surgery on his broken right ankle in Birmingham, Alabama, Raiders interim coach Rich Bisaccia said Monday in his weekly news conference.

Drake, who was carted off the field after being tackled and twisted down awkwardly from behind by Washington’s Daniel Wise midway through the second quarter of the Raiders’ 17-15 loss, took to Twitter Sunday night to say that the tackle that injured him “should be an illegal form of tackling like a horse collar.”

Bisaccia said Monday that Drake was frustrated since he suffered a similar injury last season, when he had a high right ankle sprain in Week 7 while playing for the Arizona Cardinals against the Seattle Seahawks. He missed one game with that injury.

“When you look at the play on tape, it did not look intentional,” Bisaccia said. “I think he got himself in a funky body position at the end, when he went to finish … the guy kind of rolled him over, got his ankle caught underneath there.

“Certainly, it ended up being a roll-up position at the end.”

Drake, 27, signed a two-year free-agent contract worth $14.5 million with $11 million guaranteed with the Raiders this offseason. A versatile change-of pace back to complement starter Josh Jacobs, Drake rushed for 254 yards and two touchdowns on 63 carries and caught 29 passes for 283 yards and a TD. He also returned 10 kickoffs for 192 yards for the Raiders.

The Raiders have also lost fullback Alec Ingold for the season with a torn ACL in his right knee and backup running back Jalen Richard was placed on the COVID list the morning of the Washington game.



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Los Angeles Chargers put leading WR Keenan Allen on reserve/COVID-19 list

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Los Angeles Chargers leading receiver Keenan Allen was placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list on Monday, putting his availability for Sunday’s game against the New York Giants in doubt.

Allen was one of 11 players placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list by teams on Monday. All were the result of positive tests, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports.

Allen, who has been selected to the Pro Bowl each of the past four seasons, leads the Chargers with 929 receiving yards this season and has four touchdown receptions.

If Allen is vaccinated, he will need two negative tests 24 hours apart and be asymptomatic for 48 hours before he can return. If he is unvaccinated, Allen will have to stay away from the team for a minimum of 10 days.

The Chargers improved to 7-5 with their 41-22 victory over the Cincinnati Bengals, a game in which Allen had two touchdown receptions.

Los Angeles is currently in second place in the AFC West standings.

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Cleveland Browns star defensive end Bill Glass dead at 86

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CLEVELAND — Bill Glass, a four-time Pro Bowl defensive end with Cleveland and member of the Browns’ 1964 NFL championship team, has died. He was 86.

The Browns said Glass died Sunday night surrounded by family at his home in Waxahachie, Texas. The cause of death was not immediately known.

Glass spent seven seasons with the Browns, who acquired him from the Detroit Lions as part of the trade involving quarterback Milt Plum.

An All-American offensive guard at Baylor, Glass switched to defense when he began his pro career in 1957 with the Saskatchewan Roughriders of the Canadian Football League. A year later he joined the Lions, who had drafted him with the No. 12 overall pick.

Glass spent four seasons with Detroit before going to Cleveland, where he became a star. He was credited with 16½ sacks in 1965, back when they were not recognized as an official stat by the league.

Glass finished with 87½ sacks, getting 77½ in his seven seasons with the Browns. He retired after the 1968 season and was inducted into the Browns Legends program in 2007.

After he retired, Glass, who was born in Texarkana, Texas, started his own ministry, Bill Glass Behind the Walls, working extensively with helping reform prisoners.

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