Early in the second quarter of Sunday’s NFC Championship, Seahawks punt-coverage gunner Jeremy Lane was forced out of bounds on the 49ers sideline, then leveled by an unidentified man wearing sweats. Video of the unpenalized play quickly went viral and caused a stir.
Lane was pushed out of bounds by San Francisco CB Tramaine Brock. As Lane angled back toward the field, the man, in a black and gray 49ers sweatsuit, took a step and lowered his forearm, making contact with Lane and sending him to the ground.
Lane regained his footing in time to see Seahawks gunner Ricardo Lockette deck return man LaMichael James after he muffed a punt. San Francisco recovered. As the ball went airborne, Lockette hit James’ facemask, which caused his helmet to fly off.
James was forced to leave the game with a neck injury, though he later returned. Referee Gene Steratore’s crew didn’t penalize either team on the strange play.