49ers’ Dre Greenlaw ejected for head hit on Chargers QB Justin Herbert, but was it a good call?

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The Chargers have had plenty of injury woes in the 2022 NFL season. For a moment during the team’s “Sunday Night Football” game against the 49ers, Los Angeles fans collectively held their breath over what could have been the team’s biggest injury.

Quarterback Justin Herbert was the recipient of a helmet-to-helmet hit from linebacker Dre Greenlaw late in the first half. Herbert had darted up the middle for a 5-yard gain and was being taken down by another player when Greenlaw connected.

Herbert left the field to be evaluated by medical personnel. Greenlaw was ejected from the game.

MORE: Follow the latest scores, updates from Chargers-49ers

Chargers fans were able to breathe easy after Herbert was medically cleared to play in the second half.

NFL rules are pretty clear. Under the section governing the use of the helmet, the rule reads: “It is a foul if a player lowers his head and makes forcible contact with his helmet against an opponent.” If the foul is deemed to be flagrant, the offending player can be ejected.

MORE: Chiefs’ Kadarius Toney sounds off on hit that left JuJu Smith-Schuster injured vs. Jaguars

The “flagrant” aspect of the rule stoked the online controversy that flared up after Greenlaw’s ejection. Some argued that Greenlaw was just trying to make a tackle on a runner when Herbert started to go down and then fell into the helmet-to-helmet contact.

Greenlaw posted “Free me” on his Instagram story after leaving the game.

Backup QB Chase Daniel took over for Herbert after the hit. Daniel threw two incomplete passes and was sacked, forcing LA to attempt a field goal. Cameron Dicker hit from 40 yards out to extend Los Angeles’ lead to 16-10 at the half.

MORE: Dicker gets message from Carrie Underwood after missing concert to kick for Chargers

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