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Ref Says He Incorrectly Awarded 49ers Challenges

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MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Replacement referee Ken Roan says he mistakenly awarded San Francisco 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh two challenges after the coach had called his last timeout on Sunday against the Vikings.

The miscues late in the fourth quarter threw the game into mass confusion as the Vikings were closing out a 24-13 victory over the previously undefeated 49ers.

With the Vikings trying to run out the clock, Harbaugh called his last timeout after a run by Toby Gerhart on third down. He then decided to challenge the play, and replays showed that Gerhart fumbled the ball and the 49ers got their timeout back.

It happened again on Minnesota’s next possession, when Harbaugh called timeout and later decided to challenge.

NFL rules require teams to have a timeout available to challenge a play.

(© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)