Bobby Wagner explains mindset in tackling fans on field during 49ers-Rams

Monday night’s NFC West matchup between the 49ers and Los Angeles Rams featured plenty of exciting moments, and one had little to do with the final score.

Rams linebacker Bobby Wagner added an epic tackle to his résumé — but not the stat sheet — late in the first half of San Francisco’s 24-9 win when a protestor ran onto the Levi’s Stadium turf with a pink smoke bomb.

The protest did not last long. As security struggled to catch the man, Wagner violently brought him down as if he were an opposing ball carrier. The decision all came down to the safety of those on the field and in attendance, Wagner told reporters after the game.

“I just saw somebody running on the field, and he looked like he wasn’t supposed to be on the field,” Wagner said. “I saw security was having a little problem, so I helped him out.”

One reporter asked Wagner if his coaches said anything to him after “making a play.”

“That’s not making a play, that’s just keeping it safe,” Wagner said. “You don’t know what that fan got or what they’re doing. You see it all the time, and we don’t know what they’re carrying in their pockets. It’s whatever that little smoke stuff is, but … could be dangerous.”

The protest was organized by grassroots animal rights network Direct Action Everywhere, which stated in a press release on Tuesday that Monday’s pair of protesters were cited and released from custody later that night (a woman also was escorted off the field earlier in the game).

In chasing the man that Wagner tackled, one security guard was injured but is doing just fine.

And unfortunately for the protestor, he ended up too close to Wagner on a night the linebacker’s team wasn’t performing well.

“One of the guys on the other side, it looked like he got hurt and security was struggling,” Wagner continued. “I was frustrated, so I took it out on the fan.”

It was a moment of opportunity for Wagner, who was able to help security out while releasing some pent-up emotions. Despite not knowing the protestor’s intentions, he said he felt no fear about any hidden weapons or anything else the man had that could have hurt him.

“He didn’t see me coming, so … he would have had to pull it out pretty quickly,” Wagner said.

RELATED: Kittle, Shanahan enjoyed Wagner’s vicious hit on protestor

Wagner led the Rams with seven tackles on Monday night, although it wasn’t enough to stop the 49ers.

But when all was said and done, he might have walked away with one of the most memorable hits of the night.

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