49ers’ Fred Warner Called Out for ‘Dirty’ Hit On Matt Stafford [LOOK]

Fred Warner

Getty Fred Warner #54 of the San Francisco 49ers celebrates after the team defeated the Los Angeles Rams at Levi's Stadium on November 15, 2021.

On one of the biggest plays of the first half of the NFC Championship, San Francisco 49ers star Fred Warner was looking for Los Angeles Rams QB Matt Stafford.

The key part of the play was the ball ending up in the hands of 49ers safety Jimmie Ward. After the Rams drove deep into Niners territory, Stafford attempted to fit in a pass for a touchdown that was then tipped and then picked off by Ward.

However, what wasn’t initially seen on the NFL’s broadcast of the January 30 game was Warner going after Stafford after the throw. Warner came behind the Rams QB and delivered a headbutt hit as Ward made the pick.

Granted, this wasn’t really a late hit or roughing the passer. If there was going to be a flag thrown on the play, it would’ve had to have been a blindside block/unnecessary roughness call and would’ve taken Ward’s interception return back around 15 yards.

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NFL Fans Furious at Warner

Before getting into fan reactions, it’s worth noting the FOX broadcast brought the moment up after the play, as 49ers analyst Rob Lowder pointed out.

“Fred Warner getting called out on the broadcast for a dirty hit on Matthew Stafford after the interception,” Lowder Tweeted. “Straight to the side/back of the head. Pretty uncharacteristic of Warner.”

As one might guess, there were a ton of neutral and Rams fans that were not pleaed to see the hit from Warner. One of the things viewers immediately jumped to is that Warner should expect a fine from the NFL later this week.

“I expect a Fred Warner fine by tomorrow evening,” @DETStafford9 said.

A neutral fan echoed that sentiment, even calling the 49ers star linebacker “disgusting” for the hit.

Unsurprisingly, members of the San Francisco fanbase were quieter in their response to the moment, but some recognized that it’s a dangerous game to play whether it was legitimately dirty or not.

“Fred Warner is playing with fire on these late hits man….” @MGirardi said.

@PPPfounder is “here” for the edge that Warner is bringing, although the user seems to agree with Lowder’s point that it is uncharacteristic for the linebacker.

Warner’s Role with the 49ers

In the 2018 season, Warner announced himself to the 49ers fanbase as a rookie. Starting all 16 games and racking up 124 tackles, San Francisco looked very shrewd for selecting Warner out of BYU in the third round of the 2018 NFL Draft.

In the 2019 season, Warner announced himself to the rest of the NFL. A key cog in the Niners’ run to a Super Bowl. He improved in nearly every statistical category, but didn’t get any Pro Bowl or All-Pro nods.

His combination of speed and physicality is complemented by a knack for reading and understanding the game. Watch any 49ers play with Warner on the field, and you’ll see the 25-year-old barking signals and orders.

2020 saw him finally get that award recognition, although on a team that wasn’t competing for the same stakes. 2021 has been more of the same, although the linebacker didn’t get any Pro Bowl or All-Pro love despite totaling 137 total tackles, a career-high, and seven tackles for loss, tied for a career-high.