49ers will play 2 games in Arizona due to COVID impact in Santa Clara

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The San Francisco 49ers have come to an agreement with the NFL to play their next two home games at State Farm Stadium in Glendale because the team is unable to play or practice in their home stadium for at least the next three weeks due to COVID restrictions in Santa Clara County.

The first game in Arizona is at 6:15 p.m. Monday against the Buffalo Bills, followed on Dec. 13 against Washington. The 49ers are scheduled to play at the Dallas Cowboys on Dec. 20.

It all worked out for the 49ers to relocate to Arizona because there were no conflicts with the Cardinals, who play host to the Los Angeles Rams this Sunday and are at the New York Giants the following week.

“As far as San Fran goes, that’s obviously a challenging situation for them” Cardinals coach Kliff Kingsbury said on Monday. “I’m glad it worked out that we could host them in a way and allow them to use these facilities, and continue to keep their season going.

“It’s kind of 2020 in a nutshell.”

Still to be determined is where the 49ers will be practicing. Quarantine rules imposed by Santa Clara County will go into effect any time the team travels more than 150 miles. That would rule out returning to the Bay Area between games, and probably means the team will set up some sort of bubble, possibly in Arizona.

“The Cardinals organization, State Farm Stadium and League officials have been supportive and accommodating as we work through the many logistical issues involved in relocating NFL games,” the 49ers said in a statement. 

49ers coach Kyle Shanahan said it was “extremely disappointing” the players and coaches learned about the new county rules on social media as they were on the plane headed for their game on Sunday at the Rams, which San Francisco won 23-20.

“The biggest thing for me is us all leaving our families,” Shanahan said after the game. “We’re all human just like everyone else. It’s a big deal to leave your family for the whole month of December. A huge deal, as everyone knows. This virus is a huge deal.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Reach the reporter at [email protected] or 480-356-6407. Follow her on Twitter @kfitz134.

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