NFL Unable to Confirm Alleged Closed-Fist Punch by Trent Williams

"I don't think so," Williams said. "It was a love tap. It wasn't that hard."

NFL Reviews Trent Williams’ Alleged Punch in 49ers vs. Giants Game

During Thursday night’s game between the San Francisco 49ers and New York Giants, an incident involving Niners left tackle Trent Williams raised eyebrows. Just before halftime, Williams seemed to throw a right-handed punch at Giants defensive tackle A’Shawn Robinson.

The altercation resulted in penalty flags for unnecessary roughness against both players, prompting Niners quarterback Brock Purdy to kneel and end the half. However, the Giants questioned why Williams was not ejected given the apparent punch.

"I don't think so," Williams said. "It was a love tap. It wasn't that hard."
“I don’t think so,” Williams said. “It was a love tap. It wasn’t that hard.”

After the game, NFL senior vice president of officiating Walt Anderson addressed the incident. He mentioned that the officiating crew reviewed the play using available video to determine if further action was necessary.

“We ended up looking at the video we had available to us, and we just didn’t see anything that rose to the level of flagrant,” Anderson explained, emphasizing the need for conclusive evidence to disqualify a player.

Anderson elaborated on the factors considered to determine the severity of a punch, including whether it was a closed fist, an open-hand slap, or a stiff-arm to the face. He emphasized that a closed fist punch holds more weight in their assessment.

Although it appeared that Williams threw a closed-fist punch at Robinson, the officials did not have a replay angle that provided conclusive evidence.


“We couldn’t confirm that 100 percent from the standpoint of was it truly a closed fist with a strike,” Anderson noted. “We just couldn’t determine that.”

The incident occurred with about 13 seconds left in the second quarter, as San Francisco was kneeling to end the half. A heated exchange between Robinson and Williams ensued after Niners left guard Aaron Banks pushed Robinson away.

Williams commented on the scuffle, acknowledging the competitive nature of the game and stating that tempers can flare in such situations.

Robinson, when asked about the incident after the game, declined to provide further details.

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Williams and Robinson have faced off multiple times over the past three years, notably when Robinson was with the Los Angeles Rams. Williams downplayed the incident, suggesting it was not a severe offense and did not expect to face a fine.


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