The NFL plans on releasing the 2020 schedule later this week even with the uncertainty of how the coronavirus pandemic will play out.
League spokesman Brian McCarthy spoke with ESPN and said the NFL is proceeding with the timeline it would have under normal circumstances. McCarthy said the regular season opener is scheduled for Sept. 10, with the season concluding with the Super Bowl on Feb. 7.
Being based in California will had additional challenges for the San Francisco 49ers. State Gov. Gavin Newsom says he doesn’t anticipate sporting events going on with fans in attendance until the late fall, but that could change.
If social distancing measures are still in place by the time September rolls around, the league will adjust accordingly McCarthy said.
“If we have to make adjustments, we will be prepared to do so based on the latest guidance from our medical experts and public health officials and current and future government regulations.”
The Sports Business Journal reported that one contingency plan the league has discussed is moving the opener of the 2020 NFL season to October with a full 17-game schedule without bye weeks.
It will be great to see the 49ers schedule. There is a lot on anticipation going into 2020 after the team lost in the Super Bowl, so seeing how things shake out will give us plenty to talk about.
We already know who the Niners opponents will be in 2020:
Home: LA Rams, Arizona Cardinals, Seattle Seahawks, Green Bay Packers, Philadelphia Eagles, Washington Redskins, Buffalo Bills, Miami Dolphins.
Away: LA Rams, Arizona Cardinals, Seattle Seahawks, New Orleans Saints, Dallas Cowboys, New York Giants, New England Patriots, New York Jets.
San Francisco played six primetime games last season, including the thrilling Week 17 win over the Seattle Seahawks to clinch the No. 1 seed in the NFC.
Looking at the 49ers opponents for next year, the games that standout as candidates for primetime are: One of the Seattle games, Packers, Eagles, Saints, Cowboys and Giants.
Whenever the Niners have played the Saints in recent years, it usually ends up being at 10 a.m. game in New Orleans, so I wouldn’t be shocked to see that happen again. The San Francisco-Seattle matchups last season were closely contested, so I think one of their games will be on Sunday or Monday Night Football.
Which of the Niners games do you think will be on primetime?
Onto some more links:
We were all sad to see Joe Staley retire. The big man had an awesome career with the Niners and should be in the Hall of Fame one day. NBC Sports’ Matt Maiocco looked at where Staley ranks among 49ers players who spent their entire career with San Francisco.
49ers fans are quite familiar with players who have knee troubles. From former general manager Trent Baalke seemingly taking a player who tore his ACL the season before at every draft, to Dee Ford’s issues last year, we have seen our fair share. Newly drafted defensive lineman Javon Kinlaw has had some issues with tendinitis, the SF Chronicle’s Eric Branch spoke with a doctor about how to it impacts NFL players.
Speaking of Kinlaw, Niners teammate Ronald Blair joined 95.7 The Game and had a lot of praise for the incoming rookie, saying Kinlaw plays like a “beast.”
We are all disappointed with how last season ended, but 49ers players haven’t let the Super Bowl loss shake their confidence. Receiver Kendrick Bourne tweeted out that San Francisco is winning the Super Bowl in 2020. (h/t NBC Bay Area)
Head coach Kyle Shanahan looks extremely excited to have Arizona State receiver Brandon Aiyul on the team next season. With the 2020 NFL draft class being deep with wide receivers, the NFL Network’s Steve Smith says he is expecting big things from Aiyuk.
One of the first big moves general manager John Lynch made was dealing back one spot in the 2017 NFL Draft. Now, with the 49ers declining the fifth-year option on defensive lineman Solomon Thomas, and the Chicago Bears doing the same with quarterback Mitch Trubisky, NBC Bay Area’s Marcus White breaks down how the trade looks three years later.