Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Richard Sherman wouldn’t mind 49ers playing home games outside of California

May 9, 2020 at 4:16 PM--

Mike Florio wrote an interesting piece for Pro Football Talk this past week looking at potential alternate locations for California-based NFL teams to play regular-season games if local restrictions prevented them from doing so in their home stadiums.

His suggestion for the San Francisco 49ers? How about State Farm Stadium, home of the Arizona Cardinals?

"Both teams have home games in Week Nine," wrote Florio, "but the 49ers play on Thursday night while the Cardinals play on Sunday. In Week 13, the Cardinals play on Sunday, but the 49ers play on Monday night. The two teams never have home games on the same day."

Cornerback Richard Sherman read Florio's article and doesn't sound against the idea of playing games in Arizona, especially if those games are played without fans in the stands, which is a real possibility. He might even save some money on income taxes if his employer, the 49ers, operates out of the neighboring state.

For the majority of the year, Sherman isn't even in California. He spends his offseason in the Seattle area, a fact he made clear when one fan suggested he might be taxed by California regardless of where he works for a portion of the year.

Of course, all of this is due to continued concerns over the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Even as other states start to ease restrictions, California officials aren't confident that the prospect of filling sports venues with tens of thousands of fans is a good idea. And they certainly don't think it will happen by September, when the NFL regular season is scheduled to kick off.

Even playing within stadiums without fans is being questioned.

"It's difficult for me and imagine what the league, broadly leagues, do when one or two of their key personnel or players are tested positive," California governor Gavin Newsom said this past week. "Do they quarantine the rest of the team if an offensive lineman is practicing with a defensive lineman, and they are tested positive? What happens to the rest of the line? What happens for the game coming up next weekend?"

The 49ers are looking into every possibility to be ready for anything. The team might even be willing to hold training camp outside of the state, should it be unable to hold practices at its Santa Clara-based facilities.

"You always have to be prepared for everything," general manager John Lynch recently told NBC Sports Bay Area. "And I think this pandemic that we're going through, there's so much unknown. It kind of changes day to day. So, yes, you have to prepare for everything. We're in great talks with our state and local officials, trying to learn as much as we can, but you have to prepare for everything, the unknowns."


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