Referee Ken Roan mistakenly awarded 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh two challenges after he shouldn’t have in the Vikings 24-13 win over San Francisco Sunday. Here’s a transcript from a Roan press conference after the game:
Q: Can you explain the situation with the timeouts at the end of the game?
A: He was trying to conserve time. What he was doing was calling a timeout immediately after the play was over, not knowing what the result of the play was, whether it was a challengeable play or whether it was not a challengeable play. He called a timeout immediately after the play was over. Then he realized that, ‘Hey, it was something that I want to challenge, but I just used my last timeout. Can I challenge and get my timeout back? How does that work?’ He asked the guys on the side and they came over to get me. I told him, ‘You challenged it not knowing what the result was going to be’, so I granted him the challenge so we went and looked at it. That was wrong and I should not have. In order to do that he has to have two timeouts left.
Q: So he called timeout first, and then said that he wanted to challenge it after that?
A: Right, and he would have had to have thrown the flag first and then gone through that process.
Q: Was that the same on the second timeout too then?
A: Yes, it was basically the same scenario.
Q: Is that what Leslie Frazier was protesting then?
A: Yeah, he and I discussed that.
Q: How many timeouts can you have without a challenge?
A: If you are out of timeouts, then you can’t challenge anything because if you lose a timeout you lose a challenge, and you have nothing to lose so you can’t make a challenge.
Q: So you just misinterpreted that?
A: Yes, under the circumstances my interpretation was that he could do that based on his time factors and not knowing it was a challengeable play to begin with when he called the timeout.