SEATTLE—Sighing into the microphone as he stood at the 50-yard line of Centurylink Field, NFL referee Gene Steratore ruled during Sunday’s game that the San Francisco 49ers could put as many men on the field as they want. “You know what, the offense may have however many guys they need on the field to make this fucking thing close,” declared Steratore while waving the 49ers sideline onto the field before picking up the flag he had initially thrown for an illegal substitution. “Put 12 or 13 men in the huddle if you need to, or put the whole goddamn roster on the field. Fuck it, they’re all eligible receivers, too. Go 15-wide if that’s what you gotta do.” At press time, a visibly frustrated Steratore had ruled that, for all he cared, the 49ers could also violently shake an opposing players’ facemask or tear a ball carrier down by the collar if they could get close enough.
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