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With the San Francisco 49ers locked in an NFC West battle with the Seattle Seahawks late on “Thursday Night Football,” head coach Kyle Shanahan kept Charvarius Ward on the sidelines despite the starting cornerback clearing the concussion protocol.

Ward was having a big game prior to his exit, primarily covering Seahawks star wide receiver D.K. Metcalf. Ward played his second-fewest snaps of the season (52) on Thursday but still finished with six tackles, two passes defended and one fumble recovery.

The Super Bowl LIV champion with the Kansas City Chiefs signed with the Niners in March and has started all 14 of San Francisco’s games this season. Ward already has a career-high 76 tackles and career-high and team-high 11 passes defended this year with three games remaining.

Shanahan’s decision to hold out Ward in the fourth comes on the heels of another concussion controversy that could be headed the NFL’s way. During the New England Patriots’ Week 14 “Monday Night Football” victory over the Arizona Cardinals, wideout DeVante Parker suffered a concussion in the first quarter.

It was reported Tuesday that the NFL and NFLPA were “reviewing the circumstances surrounding the sequence of events” of Parker’s concussion. The former Miami Dolphin later went on social media to bash the league over its handling of his injury.

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