Programming note: For comprehensive 49ers coverage from Santa Clara, tune in to Yahoo SportsTalk Live tonight at 5 & 11 on Comcast SportsNet Bay Area.
SANTA CLARA – Linebacker Patrick Willis was not fined for a controversial roughing-the-passer penalty in Sunday’s loss to the Arizona Cardinals, he said Thursday.
Willis also did not receive a fine from his fourth-quarter unnecessary roughness penalty against Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald.
“I didn’t get the FedEx in the mail, so maybe they went back and reviewed it and saw it was a good hit,” Willis said. “The flag was called. That’s what we have to respect.
"At the end of the day, I’m always trying to do my best to play within the rules. If I do anything outside of it, I apologize for it. But I’m just going to play football the best I know how.
“I wish we could go back and get those flags back, but we can’t do that.”
[MAIOCCO: Breakdown of every 49ers penalty this season]
Linebacker Dan Skuta and Willis were called for back-to-back penalties that totaled 30 yards on a third-quarter drive. Three plays later, the Cardinals scored the go-ahead points in their eventual 23-14 victory.
Skuta was not fined for his unnecessary roughness penalty, either. Skuta was called for a penalty for a hit on Cardinals quarterback Drew Stanton, who was starting his slide but was not yet down.
Willis was called for using the crown of his helmet to deliver a hit on Stanton as he was throwing an incomplete pass. Referee Gene Steratore described Willis’ infraction as “contact with the helmet.” Replays showed Willis had his head up and struck Stanton legally.
Jim Harbaugh was asked Monday about the penalty and at first demurred.
But, when pressed, Harbaugh said Willis hit Cardinals quarterback Drew Stanton exactly how the 49ers teach their defensive players to tackle.
“It looked like his face was up,” Harbaugh said. “It looked like he was making a tackle that was seeing what he hit.
“You do teach that, yes.”
Willis would have faced fine of $16,537 for roughing the passer. Executive vice president of football operations Troy Vincent and vice president of football operations Merton Hanks ruled the penalties did not warrant a fine.
The NFL’s officiating branch refers plays for possible discipline to the league’s football operations department for assessment of fines.
Defensive lineman Quinton Dial was fined for his roughing the penalty in Week 2 against Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler.