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Clay Matthews' hit on Colin Kaepernick sparks scuffle

San Francisco 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh wasn't happy with some of Clay Matthews' words during the week. Harbaugh will be even less happy with the Green Bay Packers linebacker's actions during Sunday's game.

Matthews hit Colin Kaepernick well after the 49ers quarterback went out of bounds during a third-down play in the second quarter, setting off a prolonged skirmish between both teams. Matthews was penalized on the play for a personal foul, but 49ers offensive tackle Joe Staley had an offsetting unsportsmanlike-conduct penalty.

Matthews' comments earlier in the week inspired a week-long conversation between Harbaugh, the Packers and the NFL about the legality of hitting read-option quarterbacks. Matthews' hit Sunday clearly was out of bounds, and we'd be surprised if he wasn't fined by the league.

The play proved to be a big turning point in San Francisco's 34-28 home victory. The two dead-ball fouls should have been offsetting penalties and a loss of down, but Fox's Mike Pereira pointed out that the officials made a mistake and played the down again. The 49ers wound up scoring a touchdown with the extra down.

UPDATE: Head referee Bill Leavy admitted after the game that the officials mistakenly awarded the 49ers an extra down on the play in question.

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