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Golden Nuggets: Diversity is critical for the NFL in devising COVID-19 strategies

Your daily San Francisco 49ers news for Wednesday, August 5, 2020

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Leaders Week 2020 - An Evening With... Photo by Paul Harding/Getty Images for Leaders

We are getting closer and closer to the San Francisco 49ers having padded practices. Until then, Jimmy Garoppolo spoke to the media on Tuesday. Jas will have more on that later this morning, but we’ll start with the Niners gunslinger.

How 49ers’ Jimmy Garoppolo grades 2019 season that fell just short

“I thought it was a productive year,” Garoppolo said on a video call with Bay Area reporters. “Obviously, it didn’t finish the way we wanted it to. But I think there were a lot of things that went well for us. The thing I always take pride in is being an accurate quarterback,” Garoppolo said. “The more accurate you are, the more yards after the catch your guys can go get for you. So in our offense, it’s putting the ball in the right spot, putting it in the right timing of the play and it’s little things like that that go a long way in our offense.

I was pretty happy with everything, how it went. Like I said, we just want the last game of the season to turn out a little differently.”

Signing Dion Jordan Would Help 49ers’ DL Depth

But at this point of his career, Jordan has failed to live up to his draft standing. His production is definitely closer to Solomon Thomas, another No. 3 pick, rather than Arik Armstead, Jordan’s collegiate teammate.

Poor performances and numerous suspensions quickly ended his run in Miami. Since then, Jordan has latched on with the Seahawks and Raiders in attempts to resurrect his career, but never became the impact defensive end he was supposed to be.

In five active seasons, Jordan totaled just three starts, 10.5 sacks and 20 quarterback hits. And Jordan is not great against the run. He would be a major reclamation project for defensive coordinator Robert Saleh and defensive line coach Kris Kocurek.

5 X-Factors for the 49ers in 2020

These numbers aren’t directly attributed to Blair’s individual production, rather it’s the effect his presence has on the fellow defensive lineman. Blair brings the heat and gets to the quarterback. When defensive linemen Nick Bosa, Dee Ford & Arik Armstead need a break, not only can Blair fill in, he flourishes. In his 47 game careeer, Blair has registered 13.5 sacks, 88 tackles, 22 tackles for a loss and 27 QB hits. In 2019 Pro Football Focus graded Blair a 77.5, which was higher than Jagurs ED Yannick Ngakoue (72.), Ravens ED Matthew Judon (70.5) and Chiefs ED Frank Clark (63.0). Returning from an ACL injury isn’t an easy task, but players have a history of returning from the injury and continuing previous success.

Kelly Stafford blames NFL for ‘nightmare’ four days after Matthew Stafford had false positive for COVID-19

Stafford said her kids were harassed and she was told she was “endangering others” when she went to the grocery store, among other issues.

The detailed the four days in an Instagram post, saying it was “somewhat of a nightmare.” And she said the NFL was at fault, saying it was irresponsible to release “that info to the world” before being certain of a positive test.

Opinion: Diversity is critical for NFL in devising COVID-19 strategies

The bigger concern, Hildreth said, underscores what some players have expressed in deciding to opt out of the upcoming season: the risk of contracting the virus and spreading it to family members who may have heightened risk factors, many of which disproportionately affect African-Americans.

“Players have opted out for that reason,” said Hildreth. “They’re not so much worried about themselves as they are their families. I have tremendous respect for them, for making that decision.”

“These are some serious, bad-ass scientists,” Mayer told USA TODAY Sports, referring to the nine committee members who have collaborated with experts assembled by NFL medical chief Allen Sills.

The research into COVID-19, including the impact on African-Americans, is obviously in the early stages. And opinions vary. Although officials from the NFL and NFLPA point to a cooperative spirit in addressing COVID-19 concerns, Mayer said the union sought a “broader approach” than the NFL had with its team physicians and trainers. The union also has had to address myths that de-emphasize the risk to players, he said.

“Things are changing with regard to our understanding of a virus that this planet has never seen before,” said Mayer, whose background includes commanding the emergency response at the Pentagon following the 9/11 attacks. “Therefore, we have to stay open to what the science tells us.”