Cardinals Lineman Came Looking for 49ers’ Josh Norman After Week 9 Scuffle

Josh Norman

Getty Josh Norman's future in San Francisco is being questioned after he committed a costly penalty against the Arizona Cardinals.

Speculation is swirling that Josh Norman’s days in San Francisco 49ers may be done after the cornerback committed a costly taunting penalty in Sunday’s 31-17 Week 9 loss to the Arizona Cardinals.

Reaction online to Norman’s 15-yard penalty has been fierce, beginning the moment it happened, but NBC Sports Bay Area reporter Jennifer Lee Chan reported after the game on November 7 that Norman’s future with the team could be in jeopardy.

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Norman’s Sideline Scuffle Came on 4th & 35

Norman was flagged for taunting after getting into a verbal mix-up along the Cardinals’ sideline with some Cardinals players, as well as the team’s coach, Kliff Kingsbury. Kingsbury was flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct on the same play.

But the foul gave the Cards extended life on the field.

If Norman hadn’t committed the penalty, the Cardinals would have been facing a fourth & 35 on San Francisco’s 36-yard line. Kicker Matt Prater likely would have trotted out onto the field for a 54-yard attempt.

Instead, the Cardinals received an automatic first down, moved the ball another 14 yards and set up Prater for a much easier 26-yard field goal attempt, which the kicker made.

Norman quickly exited the game and sat on the bench while the 49ers’ defense continued to play. He never got back in the game.

Head coach Kyle Shanahan said in his postgame press conference that he wanted Norman out of the game after the penalty in order to cool off, but it wasn’t his decision to keep the cornerback sidelined for the remainder of the game, although he was fine with it.

“It was very disappointing,” Shanahan told reporters when asked about the play. “I don’t care what happens. Whether the refs are right or wrong, you can’t give them the chance to be wrong. It doesn’t matter to me whether you deserve it or you didn’t, it’s that you got it, and it’s very easy to avoid those. You get the hell away.”

Shanahan added that he didn’t actually see what happened on the play from where he was standing across the field, but that he spoke to Norman about it after it happened.

“Josh told me that some of their coaches were talking to him and he was talking back,” Shanahan said. “Then he told me he got head-butted by one of their offensive linemen. And then he said he got the taunting penalty.”

Cardinals Lineman Came Looking for Norman Postgame

DJ Humphries

GettyD.J. Humphries said he came looking for Josh Norman after the game.

Cardinals offensive lineman D.J. Humphries, who was involved in the scuffle with Norman that led to the taunting penalty, told reporters after the game that he went “looking for” Norman, NBC Sports Bay Area also reported.

“I really don’t know what was happening, but you’re not going to talk tough to my coach, especially not on the football field,” Humphries said, according to the outlet. “I just saw him walking at Kliff [Kingsbury] with his arms flexed like he’s a tough guy, something like that, so I felt like I needed to go over there and nip it in the bud. I did.

“I didn’t see him after the game,” Humphries added. “I was looking for him after the game, but I didn’t see him. I had my helmet off. I wanted to give him the advantage.”

The NBC Sports Bay Area articles don’t cite coaches or team sources saying Norman’s tenure in San Francisco might be in question, rather the pieces ask the question themselves.

“This could be the proverbial straw that breaks the camel’s back for Norman. The 49ers were looking at the former All-Pro to be a leader on defense, similar to the role Richard Sherman held during his three-year 49ers stint,” Lee Chan wrote in the November 7 piece. “Instead, Norman has been responsible for multiple costly defensive pass-interference penalties throughout his short five-game tenure.” reporter Darren Urban reported after the game that Kingsbury showed remorse for his part in the fracas.

“I like Josh. I know Josh,” Kingsbury said in the article. “I think it was just friendly banter that got misinterpreted. I shouldn’t have been out there doing that.”

For Norman and the 49ers, time will tell what the rest of the fallout from the penalty will be.

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