SANTA CLARA — 49ers cornerback Richard Sherman knows an NFL fine is coming after he was ejected for diving right into a melee on the Chicago Bears sideline Sunday.
He doesn’t care one bit.
There was a little more than five minutes left in the 49ers’ eventual 14-9 loss at Levi’s Stadium when Bears quarterback Mitchell Trubisky scrambled on the play that set off the whole altercation. When the second-year pro saw 49ers rookie safety Marcell Harris coming his way, he started to slide.
Harris appeared to let up as he was moving toward Trubisky, but he couldn’t quite stop himself in time. Flags were thrown, but that did not satisfy the Bears’ bench, who surrounded the rookie and set off the skirmish.
A few moments later, Sherman went flying into the middle of the scrum — hands, dreadlocks and players flying everywhere.
Sherman explained why he didn’t hesitate to join the fray.
“It was their whole sideline against one of my teammates,” Sherman said. “The rest of us were coming over. Everyone was trying to get him, but as a leader, you can’t let them do your teammate like that.
“Regardless of the circumstances, regardless of what’s going down, I felt like they went over the top, and I responded with over-time.”
Part of the problem, Sherman explained, is how the NFL has restricted defensive players and protected quarterbacks.
“At the end of the day, if you don’t want your quarterback getting touched, don’t run the quarterback,” Sherman said. “They are trying to protect them as much as they can, but you want to protect them the most, don’t run.”
Trubisky is known for his running ability. He was ranked fifth in the league in quarterback rushing yards before the game with 60 attempts for 402 yards. The 49ers’ defense held him to just 3 yards on five carries.
Sherman says that while Harris might have been wrong, the Bears’ bench went too far.
“Cool, he was wrong,” Sherman explained. “They are going to penalize him. We don’t need your extra stuff, surrounding him and pushing him on the sidelines. That’s unacceptable, and we’re not going to take that.
“These are my guys. I don’t care at the end of the day what the deal is. You’re going to do all that, you’re going to let him go.”
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Sherman went into the scrum with an extended boxing style combination, but he ensured that he did not incur any injuries. He claimed swinging with open hands is a “vet move” that he implemented. He also credited strength and conditioning coach Ray Wright for the boxing moves.
Still, open hands don’t mean the hits come any lighter from the veteran cornerback.
“They continued to pull and jerk and grab on me,” Sherman said. “I’m a grown man with kids. At the end of the day, they are going to get punished for it. I don’t put my hands on you, you don’t put your hands on me. You put your hands on me, you’re going to feel me.”
Sherman undoubtedly will receive a financial punishment for his actions. As a first-time offender, he is scheduled to receive a $33,425 fine for being ejected for fighting.
What does Sherman think about that inevitability?
“Oh yeah, I’ll get fined. It will be worth every penny.”