The San Francisco 49ers are not happy with Santa Clara County’s new ruling that will prevent the team from playing home games at Levi’s Stadium for at least the next two contests. 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan admitted to being disappointed about the recent ruling and believes the team should have been contacted directly before the decision was made.
“I don’t think you could do possibly more than anyone in this country- all the NFL teams, not just us,” Shanahan explained, via The Athletic’s Tim Kawakami. “We’ve been working with them as a partner just trying to figure it out. For us to be heading out here yesterday and the relationship we have with them, for all our players and coaches and everyone on that plane and our wives to find out while we were getting on the plane and no one to tell us, it was just extremely disappointing.”
Shanahan believes the 49ers have taken COVID-19 as seriously as possible and is obviously frustrated that there was not more of a conversation about the team being required to temporarily relocate.
“You guys want to know the answer, so do our wives, so does everyone who knows us,” Shanahan admitted. “It was a very disappointing thing what we got yesterday. Our organization has been working their tails off since training camp with the county and trying to get us above and beyond all the NFL protocols, all the protocols they’ve asked for, whether it’s masks, whether it’s tracking, getting tested every single day.”
The 49ers Players Found Out the Relocation News on the Plane Ride to Play the Rams
Shanahan admitted the team is not clear on where they will end up playing their home games in the coming weeks. The 49ers coach expressed disappointment that the players and coaches will have to relocate from their homes where they feel “safe” amidst the ongoing pandemic. According to The Athletic’s David Lombardi, the 49ers players found out the news on the plane ride to Los Angeles and general manager John Lynch made an announcement over the intercom to let the traveling party know as well.
“The 49ers got Santa Clara County’s news from Twitter on their flight to LAX on Saturday,” Lombardi explained on Twitter. “John Lynch had to get on the plane’s intercom to inform the traveling party. Just wild.”
Arizona’s State Farm Stadium Is the Reported Front-Runner to Host the 49ers’ Upcoming Home Games
NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported that the Cardinals’ State Farm Stadium is the current front-runner for at least the next three Niners’ home games. It remains to be seen whether the 49ers would also practice in Glendale, Arizona.
“Niners officials spent Saturday working with NFL officials continuing to work on a plan for the rest of 2020, and as of late Saturday, nothing was set,” Rapoport explained. “However, sources say the most likely option is for the 49ers to play their final three home games at State Farm Stadium, home of the Arizona Cardinals. Their NFC West rivals — who actually host the Niners in Week 16 — are said to be willing to accommodate them.”
It is even more challenging for 49ers players as it could mean they are away from their families during the holiday season. Some players are already separated from their families during the season as they look to keep loved ones safe from the virus. San Francisco running back Raheem Mostert became emotional when asked about playing football as COVID-19 continues to pose a threat
“I left my family back home to be apart of something like this,” Mostert explained, via 49ers.com’s Keiana Martin.