SANTA CLARA -- The Arizona Cardinals had nine players on the field for the play Sunday in which lineman Tommy Kelly blocked Phil Dawson’s 45-yard field goal attempt.
But that was not the only interesting element of that play, 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh revealed on Friday.
The 49ers called a fake field goal. And even though the Cardinals had two fewer players than the allowable number of 11 on the field, they had the fake covered, Harbaugh said.
That prompted the 49ers to call off the fake. However, not everybody on the 49ers’ line knew the change had been made. Kelly got penetration against Joe Staley to block the kick.
“We didn’t communicate that the fake was off,” Harbaugh said. “Some of the guys out there thought the fake was still on, and were blocking for the fake. Half of the line thought it was a field goal and half the line thought it was a fake.”
The 49ers, trailing 20-14 with 13:40 remaining in the fourth quarter, had the ball at the Arizona 28-yard line on a fourth-and-17 play. The Cardinals held on for a 23-14 victory.