MINNEAPOLIS -- Replacement referee Ken Roan admitted to giving the 49ers an extra timeout in the team's 24-13 loss to Minnesota Vikings on Sunday.The confusion arose when 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh called timeouts immediately after two late Minnesota run plays. Then, Harbaugh threw the red flag to determine whether his old Stanford running back Toby Gerhart fumbled.
With 3:33 remaining, Harbaugh called a timeout immediately after a Gerhart running play. Then, he challenged whether Gerhart fumbled. Roan ruled that Gerhart did fumble, and linebacker Patrick Willis recorded it. Roan gave the timeout back to the 49ers.
"So he called a timeout immediately after the play was over," Roan told the pool reporter. "Then realizing that, 'Hey this is something that I want to challenge, but I just used my last timeout, can I challenge and get my timeout back? How does that work?'"He asked the guys on the side and they came over and got me. What I told him was, 'Well, you challenged it not knowing what the result of the play was going to be.' So I granted him the challenge and we went and looked at it. That was wrong. I should not have."My interpretation of it was that he could do that based upon the time factors and not knowing it was a challengeable play to begin with when he called timeout."The 49ers should have been out of timeouts, but Harbaugh and the 49ers were allowed to challenge another Gerhart fumble with 2:18 remaining in the game. On that play, Gerhart was ruled to have recovered his own fumble.However, two plays later, Gerhart fumbled again and Carlos Rogers recovered it with 1:46 remaining. The 49ers gave the ball right back when Vikings defensive end Jared Allen sacked 49ers quarterback Alex Smith and caused a fumble that Brian Robison recovered. Minnesota was able to run out the clock.However, One important officiating call went against the 49ers in the third quarter when safety Dashon Goldson was called for unnecessary roughness on an incomplete pass for Vikings tight end Kyle Rudolph.MAIOCCO: Vikings take it to 49ers in Moss' homecoming
"Oh, man, if I had to make a call, it wouldn't have been a call," Goldson said. "I made a good read. The guy came across the middle. First, it wasn't a helmet-to-helmet shot, for sure. I was trying to get out of the way, and he caught my shoulder. And I just got the best of it."What did the official say?"They called it helmet to helmet," Goldson said.Replays showed Goldson's shoulder striking Rudolph's shoulder. That penalty placed the ball at the 49ers' 14-yard line. Five plays later -- after a defensive holding penalty on Rogers -- the Vikings scored a touchdown on Chris Ponder's 2-yard scoring pass to Rudolph for a 24-13 lead.