Introducing…the Arizona 49ers?
The San Francisco 49ers are in need of a new home for the final stretch of the season, as restrictions put in place by Santa Clara County due to the COVID-19 pandemic have prevented any contact sports for the next few weeks. In a rare case of altruism from one NFC West team to another, it was the Arizona Cardinals who helped the 49ers find their temporary digs.
Per Ian Rapoport, the Cardinals have allowed the 49ers to use State Farm Stadium as their temporary home base. San Francisco will host the Buffalo Bills next week and the Washington Football Team in Week 14 from this stadium.
The 5-6 49ers will continue their playoff push from a rival’s stadium in Arizona
Even after a multitude of injuries in football’s toughest division and uncertainty at quarterback, the 49ers, fresh off a win against the Rams, are still well within striking distance of a playoff spot. Their temporary hosts in Arizona, who San Francisco will play in Week 16, slipped up against the New England Patriots, putting the 49ers just one game out of the final playoff spot in the NFC.
San Francisco still needs to finalize how they will practice. The team is deciding between creating a pseudo-bubble in which they would practice in Arizona and stay in a hotel or traveling all the way from the Bay Area to Glendale for games. Neither plan is ideal, but it’s the best they can do given the circumstances.
Kyle Shanahan’s squad was put in a tough situation, as playing “home games” in Arizona while fighting for a playoff spot certainly goes to show how weird 2020 has been. However, the Cardinals’ generosity has helped avoid a potential scheduling roadblock in the 2020 season, effectively keeping the last few weeks of the season rolling on with minimal interruptions.