For a brief stint, maybe 20 minutes, San Francisco 49ers fans thought they would be able to go to home games this season. Then, Santa Clara County put a quick stop to that.
Garoppolo’s Halloween scare came on Interstate 95 during his early morning limousine ride to the airport.
“A car jumped off the exit ramp, and was coming downhill at us, toward the driver’s side window,” Garoppolo recalled on “49ers Talk,” which airs Tuesday at 9 p.m. on NBC Sports Bay Area.
“I just saw headlights and the driver reacted, got us off into a ditch. It happened so fast. I’m in a panic in the backseat, like, ‘Holy ... we almost just died, man.’ ”
But in an ensuing press conference on Tuesday afternoon, Santa Clara County Executive Dr. Jeff Smith blasted the idea of in-person spectators. “It makes no sense whatsoever to have audiences at stadiums, particularly when there is a model to do it without audiences in a much safer way so that the only individuals who’d be put at risk are players, the refs, and their families [who are] getting constant tests,” Smith said. “Putting an audience in a stadium in large groups is just asking for trouble. It’s like a Petri dish.”
In a separate statement, the Public Health Department of Santa Clara wrote: “Audiences at professional sporting events will not be allowed anytime soon in Santa Clara County, and theme parks will not resume operation. We must all continue to prioritize reducing the spread of COVID-19, creating conditions that will allow our businesses, schools, and other organizations to operate safely. As we see COVID-19 rates rising in states across the U.S., and as we enter the winter months when risks will increase, we cannot take chances with the health and wellbeing of our community and forfeit the many sacrifices that have been made to slow the spread of COVID-19.”
Nelson, Joseph and Griffith are linebackers, while Gray is a veteran tight end.
Of the linebackers, Nelson is the most experienced by far, having appeared in 61 career NFL games. Joseph was a fifth-round draft pick of the Buffalo Bills in 2019, while Griffith participated in the 49ers’ 2020 offseason program and training camp.
The 49ers’ interest in each player appears to be directly correlated to one roster move that already has been made, and perhaps one that has yet to be announced.
San Francisco waived tight end Daniel Helm on Tuesday after he played five special-teams snaps in the win over the Rams. Gray potentially could replace him as the 49ers’ fourth tight end if another spot opens up on the active roster or practice squad.
Hasty was one of the most impressive players throughout training camp. The guy was always ripping off at least a couple of homerun plays every practice. He just looks like a veteran out there.
To me, he looks like Mostert 2.0. He is patient, has superb vision and the shiftiness to bob and weave between all of the blocking bodies. Plus, anytime he gets a carry there is always a chance of him ripping off a massive gain. What makes Hasty such a successful runner is similar to what makes Mostert one. You cannot say that about McKinnon or Jeff Wilson Jr., who Shanahan will most likely end up utilizing the most in Week 7 against the Patriots.
Some of those players (Ingram and McKinley) have played in the same defensive system the 49ers run, so the transition would be easy. The name that stands out to me is Kerrigan’s. He was drafted by Washington when Kyle Shanahan was the offensive coordinator there. He’s been a teammate of Williams and tight end Jordan Reed. He’s been consistently productive (at least eight sacks in seven of his nine NFL seasons) and he’s been healthy throughout his career.
And the 49ers badly need someone who can play on the edge. Right now Arik Armstead and Kerry Hyder are their only quality pass rushers and Armstead is better off playing defensive tackle on passing downs. If the 49ers truly believe they’re still in the playoff hunt, Kerrigan would make a difference and he probably would not be as costly, in terms of compensation, as some others on the list.
Williams suffered an ACL sprain during the team’s Week 4 loss against the Philadelphia Eagles and landed on injured reserve on October 10.
The 49ers are still holding out hope that cornerback Richard Sherman can return soon. A division matchup against his former team might seem like a perfect target date for a return, assuming his recovery is going well.
Sherman was placed on injured reserve after Week 1 due to a calf injury.