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Harbaugh says sideline collision unintentional

49ers coach says that incident between Seattle player and SF assistant was unintentional Jason Cole

Print This January 21, 2014, 08:57 PM EST

San Francisco coach Jim Harbaugh said Tuesday that the NFL has been in contact with the team about a collision between an assistant coach and Seattle cornerback Jeremy Lane on the sideline as Lane was covering a punt Sunday in the NFC Championship Game.

Lane was knocked down on the play as it appeared that the assistant coach, who Harbaugh would not identify, went to hit him. Harbaugh said the coach was merely trying to defend himself as someone ran toward him.

“I think there has been some contact there. (General Manager) Trent’s (Baalke) talked to them about that. I do have a perspective on that because I did see it. I was standing closer to the sideline than the person that got run into," Harbaugh said. "I saw Jeremy deep into our box and I turned around. What I saw was our guy do the exact same thing. I was practically in his shoes because we both turned around and saw the same thing. And he did run into our guy and kind of stumbled down to the ground. But our guy was in a spot back where he was supposed to be. I saw it with my own two eyes. I saw the same kind of reaction. He made the same reaction that I did. So, it was bang-bang. I could be called for a witness on that because I saw it.”

The collision was reminiscent of a sideline incident in 2010 in which then-New York Jets assistant strength and conditioning coach Sal Alosi tripped Miami coverage man Nolan Carroll. Alosi was eventually fined $25,000 and suspended for the rest of the season. The Jets were also fined $100,000.

Harbaugh said this situation was not the same as the Jets-Dolphins incident.

“Yeah, you don’t know which way to go other than just hold your ground and protect yourself. Which was his reaction. It would have been mine as well. But I think I would be welcomed to be called and say the same thing on the record,” Harbaugh said.

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