NFL: No fine for 49ers' Justin Smith

NFL: No fine for 49ers' Justin Smith
December 24, 2010, 8:49 pm
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Dec. 24, 2010MAIOCCO ARCHIVE49ERS PAGE 49ERS VIDEOMatt MaioccoCSNBayArea.comThe NFL did not fine 49ers defensive end Justin Smith after he was ejected from a game last week in San Diego for making physical contact with a game official, a league spokesman said Friday.Smith, a 10-year veteran, was ejected after he was penalized for the incident involving umpire Garth DeFelice, who has officiated 13 NFL seasons. Smith will play Sunday in the 49ers' key NFC West game against the St. Louis Rams.Referee Clete Blakeman ruled Smith's act "intentional," which drew an immediate disqualification from the game. "Smith basically came at him (DeFelice), shoved him," Blakeman said after the game.RELATED: 49ers notes: Smith denies intentional shove of official
Clearly, the NFL disagreed with Blakeman's immediate assessment of the incident. Players who have been ejected in recent seasons for making contact with officials have also been fined.When DeFelice tried to separate Smith from Chargers tight end Kris Wilson with a forearm to Smith's chest area, Smith pushed DeFelice's upper arm away, thus drawing the penalty and ejection."I wasn't even aware it was an official at first," Smith said. "It was me and the tight end and next thing I know, there's an arm and just a reaction. A rule's a rule. If you touch an official, you're out. It is what it is. Unfortunately, I couldn't be out there and play."When Smith was ejected with 10:52 remaining in the second quarter, the 49ers trailed 7-0. The Chargers went on to score the first 34 points of the game in their 34-7 victory. 49ERS INJURY REPORT
Out: TE Nate Byham (heel), T Joe Staley (fibula).
Staley is progressing well from his broken left fibula, and he is expected to be available to practice next week. If the 49ers lose on Sunday, there's no reason to get him ready. The 49ers promoted tight end Colin Cloherty from the practice squad this week to compensate for the expected loss of Byham, a blocking specialist. If Cloherty is active, he'll probably play exclusively on special teams. Adam Snyder would likely be used as a blocking tight end.Questionable: RB Anthony Dixon (ankle).
Brian Westbrook has gotten most of the playing time in recent weeks, with Dixon used solely in two-back sets. If Dixon is unable to play, DeShawn Wynn might get a handful of snaps. Wynn is probably with an ankle injury of his own.Probable: CB Nate Clements (knee), WR Josh Morgan (shoulder), LB Takeo Spikes (hand), RB Brian Westbrook (not injury related), LB Patrick Willis (hand), RB DeShawn Wynn (ankle).
All these players will be available for action. Willis and Spikes will again play with casts on their broken right hands.

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