Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

49ers’ Dee Ford takes a shot at ‘a couple of teams’ while discussing the possibility of no fans in stadiums

May 29, 2020 at 2:08 PM--

Will the NFL have fans in stadiums when the regular season kicks off in September? If they do, how many will be allowed? Will stadiums be at half capacity? Twenty-five percent? We just don't know the answer right now, amid continued concerns and precautions surrounding COVID-19.

It could even be that some teams will be allowed to have a limited number of fans in their home stadiums while others, due to local regulations, will not.

San Francisco 49ers pass rusher Dee Ford on Friday discussed the possibility of no fans in the stands and the advantage that some teams might have if they can host fans and others cannot.

"It would definitely be, in my opinion, an unfair advantage if some teams have fans and some teams don't," Ford said during a video conference with reporters, "because you're dealing with, on the offensive side, you're dealing with crowd noise. And on the defensive side, it's really more so snap counts, chaos.

"At the end of the day, the true advantage is the energy at home. That's the true advantage, is having the energy. Not every defensive player utilizes the snap count and the chaos, and the defense has to communicate just as well as the offense with the crowd noise.

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"But I definitely feel like it's an advantage (if you have it) or a disadvantage if you don't have it, and I do feel like it would be a little bit unfair."

San Francisco mayor London Breed said on Thursday that sports could return to the city on June 15, but without fans. Of course, the 49ers play in Santa Clara County, which will need to make its own decisions. Meanwhile, Texas will reportedly soon allow pro sports events to resume while hosting fans at 25 percent of normal capacity.

Ford has heard the reports that there could even be virtual crowd noise in games. Although, that report was referring to noise being created for television broadcasts, and not necessarily within the actual stadiums. Still, Ford took the opportunity to humorously jab at some other teams.

"I heard things about the virtual crowd noise. I'm going to go out on a limb and say a couple of teams already got that going on, so they won't have any issues with it," Ford said while laughing.

While Ford didn't specify which teams he suspected of doing so, it was still a funny moment when paired with the defender's laughter.

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