The San Francisco 49ers took a shellacking from the Green Bay Packers Thursday, a loss that appeared to be inevitable based on everything the 49ers faced this week. San Francisco placed Jimmy Garoppolo and George Kittle on injured reserve — adding to the extremely long list in that department — along with the four players on the reserve/COVID-19 list, which included starters Brandon Aiyuk, Trent Williams, and Deebo Samuel. 

The NFL decided Thursday’s game would be played, regardless of the obstacles the 49ers faced. Niners head coach Kyle Shanahan was asked about the league’s decision after the game.

“I don’t really think about that stuff at all. It was never brought up pushing the game back, so we’ve been planning on it being at this Thursday at five or whenever it’s supposed to start and that never changed,” Shanahan said. “So, I know we’re working together with the league on all that stuff. And that was never brought up, so never really thought about it.”

The Packers also had three players on the reserve/COVID-19 list, entering the game thin at running back as Jamaal Williams and A.J. Dillion were out. But as neither team had more players added to the reserve/COVID-19 list in the couple of days leading up to the game, the league made the decision to play on. The NFL has not set clear lines on how many cases are needed to lead to a rescheduling.

“It kind of is what it is, too. It’s not just the NFL, it’s the planet right now,” Shanahan said. “You see it going all over the country and everything. I love that we’re trying to play these games and get through them. I think our guys, when they have gotten it, hopefully they’re going to be able to get through it and their health will be all right and not affected going forward. 

“We haven’t had it hit us really, yet. I know KB (Kendrick Bourne) had that test and we had the close contacts and stuff and that’s what the rules are. So, other teams have had to deal with that. I knew at some time we would have to deal with it. I was hoping it wouldn’t be on a short week and with the injuries we had prior, so that just made it a bigger challenge, but that’s challenges other people are going through and it’s challenges people are going to have going forward. 

“It’s not getting better right now, so that’s why everyone has to be on it with every single protocol that there is. I feel that we’ve been doing it the best we can, but we’ll look into everything and see how we can continue to get better because there’s still a number of games left in this year and I know our team and I know the whole NFL plans on finishing those. I also plan on us playing better too. So, that all goes in hand.”

The 49ers are just like the rest of the NFL, just going with the flow and awaiting on the league’s decision when a potential COVID-19 case breaks. Right now it’s a case-by-case basis as the NFL tries to get through the 2020 season. 


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