NFL: Week 1

Notes: 49ers’ Jim Harbaugh takes shot at Clay Matthews

Coming to the defense of his quarterback Sunday, 49ers tackle Joe Staley (left) mixes it up with Clay Matthews.
thearon w. henderson/getty images
Coming to the defense of his quarterback Sunday, 49ers tackle Joe Staley (left) mixes it up with Clay Matthews.

Jim Harbaugh offered a parting shot at Packers linebacker Clay Matthews: Slapping is not the tough-guy way.

Harbaugh said Monday that Matthews threw one punch and slapped 49ers left tackle Joe Staley when they tussled following Matthews’s late hit on quarterback Colin Kaepernick in the second quarter of San Francisco’s 34-28 season-opening win against Green Bay Sunday.

‘‘If you’re going to go to the face, come with some knuckles, not an open slap,’’ Harbaugh said. ‘‘I think if that young man works very hard on being a tough guy, he’ll have some repairing to do to his image after the slap.’’


Matthews promised leading up to the game that Green Bay would target Kaepernick after he ran for a quarterback-record 181 yards to beat the Packers in the playoffs eight months ago, and Matthews did just that. On the play, he threw his right arm around the lower part of Kaepernick’s neck.

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‘‘Like I said last week, usually a man will tell you his bad intentions if you just listen. That certainly was a cheap shot, launching, clotheslining to the neck-head area,’’ Harbaugh said. ‘‘Bad play.’’

Packers coach Mike McCarthy said that he’s not looking to get into a back and forth with Harbaugh.

‘‘Clay Matthews is not a dirty player, by no means,’’ McCarthy said. ‘‘So I addressed Harbaugh’s comments in the team meeting, and as always, we’ll stay above it.’’

While Matthews was flagged for a late hit, Staley received an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty that Harbaugh didn’t think was right.


Staley immediately came to Kaepernick’s defense on the play. The penalties were offset and the 49ers scored on the next play, which officials later said should have been fourth down rather than a repeated third down.

The NFL said Monday that a review showed Staley should not have been penalized.

‘‘After reviewing the play, Vice President of Officiating Dean Blandino determined that Joe Staley should not have been penalized,’’ spokesman Randall Liu said in an e-mail. ‘‘It should have been first and goal for the 49ers from the Green Bay 3-yard line.’’

‘‘That’s what I saw,’’ Harbaugh said.

Harbaugh praised referee Bill Leavy and his crew, and said San Francisco would have gone for it on fourth down anyway.

Steelers regroup


Maurkice Pouncey limped through the Steelers’ practice facility, the torn ligaments in his knee wrapped in bandages and his season over. The three-time Pro Bowl center remained in high spirits, though he might have been one of the few optimists in the building.

The long road back for Pouncey will begin later this week when he undergoes surgery. The same for linebacker Larry Foote, who is also done for the year after rupturing his right biceps while trying to make a tackle in the fourth quarter of a 16-9 loss. Return specialist LaRod Stephens-Howling tore his ACL.

Kelvin Beachum filled in for Pouncey Sunday, the first time in his career he’s worked at center during an actual game. The Steelers signed veteran lineman Fernando Velasco to a one-year contract Monday. He started 16 games for Tennessee last season, 13 at center.

The Steelers re-signed Jonathan Dwyer, who led Pittsburgh with 623 yards rushing in 2012 before being cut when the roster was trimmed to 53 players. ‘‘Glad to be back home,’’ Dwyer tweeted. Pittsburgh also signed kicker Shayne Graham as insurance after Shaun Suisham sustained a mild hamstring strain during warm-ups Sunday.

Kerley concussed

Jets wide receiver Jeremy Kerley sustained a concussion Sunday against Tampa Bay and could miss New York’s game against the Patriots Thursday night. The Jets announced Monday that Kerley passed the NFL’s concussion protocol after taking a hard hit from the Buccaneers’ Mark Barron late in the second quarter. Kerley again passed the concussion tests after the game, but exhibited concussion-like symptoms at the team’s facility Monday morning. He went through a third concussion test and was held out of the team’s walkthrough as a precaution.

As expected, the Jets re-signed Brady Quinn Monday. The quarterback was cut Saturday because it prevented his contract from being guaranteed. To make room for Quinn, the Jets released linebacker Danny Lansanah from the active roster. New York also signed wide receiver Rahsaan Vaughn to the practice squad.

Gabbert must sit

The Jaguars ruled out quarterback Blaine Gabbert for Sunday’s game at Oakland after he sliced open the back of his throwing hand against Kansas City. Gabbert caught his right hand on a defender’s facemask while scrambling in the closing minutes and received 15 stitches to close the wound. He won’t be able to practice this week. Chad Henne will start against the Raiders, and newly signed Ricky Stanzi will serve as the backup . . .Ndamukong Suh’s illegal low block against Minnesota Sunday will be reviewed for potential discipline, the NFL confirmed. The Lions defensive tackle hit Vikings center John Sullivan during an interception return and the penalty against him negated a touchdown. Suh said he wasn’t going after Sullivan’s knees, adding the two talked about it at halftime. ‘‘He apologized and said there was no intent to injure. It’s fine,’’ Sullivan said . . . Panthers starting right guard Garry Williams will miss the remainder of the season after tearing the ACL and MCL in his left knee in Sunday’s loss to Seattle. Coach Ron Rivera said Chris Scott would likely replace Williams on the first unit.

Fan identified in fall

Police identified the fan in the fatal fall Sunday near Candlestick Park in San Francisco as Kevin Hayes, 32, of Hayward, Calif. Hayes fell while walking with his brother on a bridge over four lanes of traffic outside the stadium at the start of the Packers-49ers game, police said. ‘‘Alcohol may or may not have played a role to some varying degree, but right now, it looks like a very sad, tragic accident,’’ said San Francisco Police Chief Greg Suhr. Also Sunday, two fans at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis were injured when a railing on which they were leaning collapsed and the two fell from the top of the tunnel onto the walkway that goes to the visitors’ locker room. Neither fan was seriously injured.

Romo is OK

Tony Romo should be able to keep playing through a rib injury sustained in Sunday night’s win over the Giants. X-rays showed no structural damage and the Cowboys quarterback said the injury was ‘‘nothing really crazy.’’ Romo missed Dallas’s final offensive play of the first half after getting crunched between two defenders. He is expected to play next Sunday at Kansas City, according to Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones.

The Giants finished with six turnovers, their most in a game since 1987. New starting running back David Wilson fumbled twice. Giants coach Tom Coughlin refused to discuss any potential changes Monday. Free agents will be worked out Tuesday, as usual, and a running back could be signed. Former Giant Brandon Jacobs and Willis McGahee are expected to work out.

The Giants denied an allegation from Dallas owner Jerry Jones that they faked injuries during a long touchdown drive in the first half by the Cowboys.

Jones said ‘‘it was so obvious it was funny’’ when linebacker Dan Connor and defensive tackle Cullen Jenkins went out on consecutive plays, stopping the clock each time.

‘‘It’s absolutely not true,’’ Coughlin said. ‘‘Both of those players were injured.”