The San Francisco 49ers are suddenly looking for a new home — and coach Kyle Shanahan isn’t happy about it.
Santa Clara County, home of the 49ers, Stanford and San Jose State, banned all contact sports for three weeks due to the COVID-19 pandemic on Saturday, and said that the ban applies to all professional, collegiate and youth sports teams.
It’s not the ban itself that really upset Shanahan. The coronavirus pandemic is raging worse than ever in the United States, and the ban is being implemented in hopes of curtailing the spread of the deadly virus in the Bay Area.
It’s really the fact that he got no warning, he said after their 23-20 win against the Los Angeles Rams, that frustrated him.
Shanahan: Ruling was ‘just extremely disappointing’
Shanahan said the team learned of the decision Saturday as they were headed to Los Angeles for Sunday’s game, and that it sparked many questions from his team — most of which he still doesn’t know how to answer.
“I get it, they made that decision, we’ve got to deal with it,” Shanahan said, via The Athletic. “But to find that out through a tweet or a press conference where I have an entire plane coming up to me, I have all wives and everyone’s girlfriends, everyone’s family members, kids, saying that what they heard there, are we going to be gone for the entire month of December? Are we going to be quarantined for 14 days when we get back? That’s all we could talk about for the last 18 hours, because we got no answers from them.”
After how the 49ers have handled the pandemic, Shanahan says what the team is doing in the Bay Area isn’t hurting anyone.
“Our organization has been working their tails off since training camp with the country 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 tackling, getting tested every single day,” he said, via The Athletic.
“I don’t think you could do possibly more than anyone in this country — all the NFL teams, not just us … We understand how big of a deal the virus is. That’s why we’re so committed. And that’s why we feel like we’ve done it as good as we can, and not only protected ourselves but really protected the community. That’s why we would love to stay in our hometown, where our fans want us, playing in [Levi’s Stadium] with no people there, only people that have been tested every single day for the last five months.”
Where will the 49ers play next week?
The 49ers have three home games left on their schedule — next Monday against the Buffalo Bills, the following week against the Washington Football Team and then on Jan. 3 against the Seattle Seahawks. The temporary ban was set for three weeks.
It’s unclear where the team will relocate, though a few ideas have been floated. SDCCU Stadium in San Diego — where the Chargers played before moving to Los Angeles — could host the team through the end of the year.
The Niners could end up sharing State Farm Stadium with the Arizona Cardinals, too. Both teams aren’t set to host a home game on the same day, and they are scheduled to play there against each other anyway on Dec. 27.
There isn’t, however, a plan in place but the team needs somewhere to practice and prepare for next Monday’s game.
“You guys want to know the answer [about where we’ll play], so do our wives, so does everyone who knows us,” Shanahan said, via The Athletic. “It was a very disappointing thing what we got yesterday.”
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