Replacement Refs: Free Timeouts For Everybody!

Although you wouldn't realize it by the final score, the referees threw the San Francisco 49ers a bone Sunday in their 24-13 loss to the Minnesota Vikings. Well, to be more specific, they actually threw them two bones.

Replacement referee Ken Roan admitted to the media following the game that he accidentally gave San Francisco two extra timeouts down the stretch, according to Matt Maiocco of CSN Bay Area.

With a little over three minutes remaining the contest, head coach Jim Harbaugh used his last timeout to stop the clock following a Toby Gerhart run. But then Harbaugh realized that he would actually like to challenge if Gerhart fumbled on the play, a move that Roan allowed despite being fresh out of timeouts.

Here's what Roan had to say on the first of two glaring mistakes:

"[Harbaugh] asked the guys on the side and they came over and got me. What I told him was, 'Well, you challenged it not knowing what the result of the play was going to be.' So I granted him the challenge and we went and looked at it. That was wrong. I should not have.

Roan followed up that blunder by doing, well, the same exact thing only a minute later.

After giving the 49ers the timeout back following their successful challenge, Gerhart fumbled again with 2:18 remaining in the game. And once again, Harbaugh challenged, this time unsuccessfully, marking the third time he had spent that one particular timeout in the contest.

In the end, Roan's mistakes weren't that detrimental with the Vikings able to successfully run off the clock. Then again, this isn't the first time the replacement refs have been in the free timeout mood for an NFC West team this season.

Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, you might actually not be able to count to three.

For more 49ers coverage, head on over to Niners Nation.

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