49ers' trick play against Rams still legal

David Akers' memorable touchdown pass to Michael Crabtree on a fake field goal proved critical to the San Francisco 49ers' 34-27 victory over St. Louis in Week 17.

Crabtree moved toward the sideline following the preceding third-down play, giving the impression he was subbing out of the game. Crabtree remained on the field and escaped the Rams' detection at the snap. Akers threw to him for the easy score.

The NFL subsequently made deceptive substitutions a point of emphasis for officiating in 2012, leading to our discussion Wednesday on whether the Crabtree play would remain legal. I've checked with the NFL and learned the 49ers' tactics would not be affected.

The Crabtree play was legal at the time and remains an option for the future. Check it out here.