NFL: 49ers’ Kyle Shanahan Says Team’s Arizona Stay Is Not a ‘Bonding’ Experience

by Joe Rutland

Don’t expect the San Francisco 49ers to use their time away from home in Arizona to start singing campfire songs and practice meditation collectively.

Head Coach Kyle Shanahan says the 49ers, who are not able to play home games in December because of new COVID-19 restrictions, will not be using their time as a “bonding” experience.

In addition, Levi’s Stadium, the team’s home field in Santa Clara County, Calif., will not be able to host any events.

The 49ers announced Monday they will play their Week 13 and 14 games against the Buffalo Bills and Washington Football Team, respectively, at State Farm Stadium, home of the rival Arizona Cardinals.

Coincidentally, Shanahan expressed his displeasure at learning about the new restrictions through Twitter. Here’s what he had to say on Tuesday at a team press conference.

Arizona Cardinals, San Francisco 49ers Banter Back, Forth

While San Francisco’s 49ers are leaving the city by the bay, Arizona is welcoming them to State Farm Stadium with a little good-natured humor.

Both teams’ social media groups traded tweets related to the shared-space situation in Glendale, Ariz.

Obviously, with each new week, it is becoming harder for the NFL to continue to run games. While the league appears to be maneuvering around certain restrictions and trying to make it to January, it may just continue to get more difficult.

The NFL has also issued fines to teams who are not taking COVID-19 seriously and risking spreading it across the whole organization. For example, the Saints and Patriots received some hefty fines. Many are wondering, how long should football be going on when nearly every other gathering and sport has been canceled?

“I think we have to really consider a bubble. When you think about the country right now, we’re going through a second wave. You have to be flexible in your thinking … I think right now from a competitive and balance standpoint that’s out there, and from a safety standpoint that’s out there, go to a bubble. Go to a city right now, identify a hotel, take all the staff members, put them in there, and make sure from that point they bus to and from practice,” said Bill Cowher to NBC News.