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NFL sends memo to teams regarding conduct of club personnel following 49ers-Eagles sideline incident

A Week 13 sideline altercation between an active player and a team staff member prompted the NFL to send a memo to all clubs Wednesday.

The message, following a San Francisco 49ers-Philadelphia Eagles sideline skirmish on Sunday, underscored that teams' game-day staff must know their roles and abstain from involving themselves in any game altercations or making physical contact with another team's player. 

"Please ensure that all members of your game-day staff understand that their role does not extend to being involved with game day altercations and that they must refrain from such involvement," the league stated in a memo obtained by NFL Network Insider Tom Pelissero.

The memo came on the heels of an incident in which 49ers linebacker Dre Greenlaw tackled Eagles receiver DeVonta Smith into the sideline, near where Eagles head of security Dom DiSandro was standing. Seeing Greenlaw on top of a player DiSandro is employed to protect off the field, he pulled Greenlaw off Smith, leading to the linebacker getting up and reaching over a developing scuffle between players to contact DiSandro's face with a closed fist.

It wasn't quite a punch, but it was close enough to force officials to eject Greenlaw from the game, penalize San Francisco 12 yards for unnecessary roughness, and instruct DiSandro to leave the field. 

The incident led the league to remind its 32 clubs of the importance of avoiding such interactions.

"The playing rules of the National Football League, and our game operations policies, clearly prohibit non-player personnel -- coaches, trainers, equipment staff, security officers, or others -- from making physical contact with, taunting, or directing abusive or insulting language toward opposing players, game officials or others involved in a game," the league stated. "If an altercation occurs, club personnel are to allow the coaches and game officials to manage the situation, with the officials assessing appropriate penalties, with assistance from the league office as needed.

"Under no circumstances are club personnel to engage with or make physical contact with another club's player(s) or personnel."

Sunday's matter remains under investigation by the NFL.

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