Sports Business Daily reports that a game between the San Francisco 49ers and Los Angeles Rams in China is planned for the 2018 season. The game is expected to be the Rams' home opener for that season. Although, no date is currently scheduled.
"In March, reports surfaced that the NFL wants to expand its international presence to China and that the Rams were one team selected to play there," says Don Muret of Sports Business Daily. "NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell later confirmed multiple teams had shown interest in playing in China."
The Rams, who returned to Los Angeles this year and will play their home games at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, have agreed to give up one home game a season to play overseas over the next three seasons as their new stadium is being built in neighboring Inglewood.
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"The NFL could even consider making the China game its first regular-season game of the 2018 season, which would give both teams extra time to recover from the jet lag of a long trip home from Asia," says Michael David Smith of Pro Football Talk.
While the Rams' participation in a China game is likely, Vincent Bonsignore of the Los Angeles Daily News calls the report of the 49ers' involvement "a bit premature," according to an NFL source.
The 49ers' last matchup overseas was a 2013 game in London. Their opponent was the Jacksonville Jaguars, who San Francisco beat 42-10. Colin Kaepernick passed for 164 yards and a touchdown in that matchup. He also rushed for 54 yards and two more touchdowns.
The Rams are the 49ers' season opening opponent this season as the two teams face off on a Monday night at Levi's Stadium on September 12.