The NFC Championship game was precisely the contest many hoped it would be. A scrappy, emotion-filled game between two rivals where deep-seated rivalry gave birth to one of the season's most entertaining games.
At this point we all know about Richard Sherman's end-of-game statement, but there was another surprising moment you may have missed involving special teams gunner Jeremy Lane and a non-uniformed member of the 49ers. Adam Schefter of ESPN is reporting the league will look into this play and determine is discipline is required.
Lane attempted to cover a punt in the second quarter when he was forced out of bounds into the 49ers bench area. He was met with a stiff elbow from a non-uniformed member of the team and hit the ground before trying to return to the field.
It's unclear who delivered the elbow. It could have been a member of the coaching staff or an inactive player, but the angle and down marker makes it difficult to discern. One thing we can safely say is that subtlety isn't his forte. He delivers the elbow, bounces and takes a step toward where Lane fell -- all while staring at the player.
The NFL recently fined Mike Tomlin $100,000 for stepping onto the field of play and potentially interfering with a kick return. It will be interesting to see how the league evaluates a team member clearly knocking down a player attempting to cover a punt.