Roan said Harbaugh first called the timeout, then asked him if he still could challenge the play.
"What I told him was, 'Well, you challenged it not knowing what the result of the play was going to be,' " Roan said. "So I granted him the challenge, and we went and looked at it. That was wrong. I should not have."
Gerhart even disputed the replay ruling, saying he simply let the ball go after he heard the whistle blow to stop the play.
"I was stopped," Gerhart said. "They pushed me backwards. They blew the whistle. I was going down. I just put the ball on the ground and got up. They grabbed it, and I don't know. That one I have no idea."
Five plays later, the Vikings had the ball again with less than three minutes to play. After a first-down run, Harbaugh called his last timeout, again only to decide later to challenge the play. Roan again granted Harbaugh the challenge, but replays showed Gerhart did fumble the ball before recovering it himself, so the Vikings retained possession.
"My interpretation of it was that he could do that based upon the time factors and not knowing it was a challengeable play to begin with when he called timeout," Roan said.
NFL rules require a team to have a timeout to challenge a play. Because Harbaugh called his final timeout before throwing the challenge flag, he should not have been allowed to contest the ruling on the field.
Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press