San Francisco 49ers to end season in Arizona after Santa Clara County extends COVID-19 restrictions

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SANTA CLARA, Calif .– After moving their entire football operation to Arizona for what they initially hoped would only be a three-week stint, the San Francisco 49ers will end the 2020 regular season in the wilderness.
A spokesperson for the team said the decision was made to stay in the Phoenix area until the end of the NFL season after Santa Clara County announced it would extend its COVID-19 restrictions , including a ban on contact sports, at least until January 8.

The 49ers, who had previously planned to stay until the Dec. 26 game against the Arizona Cardinals, will also host the Seattle Seahawks in Glendale, Ariz. On Jan. 3.

By the end of the season, the Niners will have played three “home” games and one road game at State Farm Stadium in the final month of the season.

Santa Clara County’s extension of protocols was something the Niners had come to expect when they moved, which is why coach Kyle Shanahan told his team he and the Niners operations staff would do. all they could to try to get the players’ relatives down to Arizona for Christmas Week.

According to 49ers general manager John Lynch, that process is already underway. Lynch told KNBR Radio in San Francisco on Thursday that many of those loved ones have already arrived or will be heading south this weekend. This will allow them to get tested for COVID-19, and when the Niners return from Sunday’s game against the Dallas Cowboys, they will be able to see their families.

“They’re all going to test when we’re gone so we can see them when we get back,” Lynch told KNBR. “It will be a big boost for the guys. ”

The 49ers moved to Arizona on December 2 after the initial announcement of the improved Santa Clara County guidelines on November 28. They have since lost “home” games to the Buffalo Bills and Washington football to drop to 5-8 and have seen their post-season hopes dwindle.

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