NFL ‘couldn’t confirm’ Trent Williams threw closed-fist punch

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By Bhargab Kaushik

California’s SANTA CLARA — Trent Williams, the left tackle for the San Francisco 49ers, seemed to strike Giants defensive tackle A’Shawn Robinson in the facemask just before halftime of their game on Thursday night.

Williams was shoved by Niners guard Aaron Banks, and Robinson promptly punched him as he walked back near the line of scrimmage. Williams punched Robinson in the face right away in retaliation.

Williams and Robinson’s altercation resulted in penalties for both players for unnecessary roughness, forcing Niners quarterback Brock Purdy to take another knee to conclude the half. The Giants, though, seemed to be perplexed as to why Williams wasn’t sent off after the punch.

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After San Francisco’s 30-12 victory, NFL Senior Vice President of Officiating Walt Anderson talked with a pool reporter and said that his crew had reviewed the play using the available footage to determine whether any more action was required.

In the end, Anderson added, “we looked at the video we had at our disposal and we just didn’t see anything that rose to the level of flagrant.” Which is the requirement that we must meet in order to disqualify the player.

Anderson continued by saying that the use of a closed fist, an open hand slap, or a stiff arm to the face are factors that officials consider when determining how flagrant a punch is. A closed fist punch, in Anderson’s words, “carries a different weight to it.”

Anderson claimed that although it appeared as though Williams punched Robinson with a closed fist, there was no replay perspective that provided the officials with concrete proof that he had actually done so.

From the perspective of whether or not it was actually a closed fist strike, Anderson added, “We couldn’t confirm that 100 percent.” “We just weren’t able to figure that out.”

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There were roughly 13 seconds left in the second quarter when the play was made. In order to conclude the half, San Francisco was on its knees as Banks shoved Robinson aside. Williams was immediately accosted by Robinson, and they got into a fight.

Williams only “mixed it up.” There are many tempers flaring out there since the game is competitive and occasionally things get a little heated.

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After the game, Robinson was questioned about the incident but chose not to provide his opinion, mostly saying, “I don’t know.”

Over the previous three years, Williams and Robinson have faced off against one another numerous times when Robinson was a member of the Los Angeles Rams. Williams said that he had not anticipated receiving a fine for striking Robinson.

Williams responded, “I don’t think so. It was a tap of affection. It wasn’t that difficult.


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