San Francisco 49ers safety Donte Whitner has been involved in questionable calls involving big hits all season, and that trend continued in the NFC Championship Game against the Seattle Seahawks.
Whitner was flagged for unnecessary roughness after a hit on the Seahawks' Luke Willson in the waning moments of the first quarter.
However, replays showed that it was a shoulder-to-shoulder hit rather than helmet-to-helmet. The safety was also put in a tough spot because his teammate's hit on Willson changed where the tight end's body was.
It looked like a huge hit live, so it's easy to understand why the ref threw the flag. Referees are going to protect receivers on plays like this, but it appears to be a very questionable call.