The San Francisco 49ers picked up a big win on Sunday when they upset the Rams in Los Angeles to move to 5-6 and keep their slim hopes of a playoff berth alive. However, after the win the Niners had to return to a reality in which their immediate future was in limbo as Santa Clara County had announced a three-week lockdown amid spiking COVID-19 cases that would not allow any sporting events or practices, including Niners games and practices.
That meant the Niners, who have home games scheduled for this coming Sunday and the next against the Bills and the Football Team, needed to find a new place to play. On Monday, they announced they’d reached an agreement with the NFL and the Arizona Cardinals to play their games at State Farm Stadium in Glendale for the next two weeks.
The Cardinals are at home next week on Sunday, but the Niners-Bills game is the Monday Night game, so it’ll be a quick turnaround for stadium staff to re-paint the field. The week after, Arizona is headed to the Meadowlands to face the Giants, leaving their stadium open for the Niners to host the Football Team on Sunday.
It’s yet another example of teams having to be flexible amid the ever-changing landscape of the pandemic, as the league tries desperately to get every game played despite climbing case counts on teams and communities having to go back into lockdowns in an effort to mitigate the spread once again as we push into a 10th month of record high cases. The Ravens and Steelers remain unsure of whether their game, initially scheduled for Thanksgiving night, will be played on Tuesday as Baltimore has seen a number of positive tests on the roster, including to Lamar Jackson.
The Niners expressed frustration with the lack of communication from Santa Clara County on the lockdown decision, but if health officials have deemed it necessary to limit gatherings once again and by virtue of the number of people on the field a football game would be included, then there wasn’t significant discussion to be had. They will now go to Arizona where they will hopefully be able to get through the next two weeks.