The 49ers’ schedule was released Thursday, but plenty of questions about the 2020 season remain unanswerable.
During a normal year, NFL training camps would open in approximately two-and-a-half months. But there is nothing normal about this time, as day-to-day life around the globe has been altered due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Some states are beginning to loosen restrictions. But California, among the first states to enact stay-at-home orders, is likely to be among the last to allow larger groups of individuals to convene.
The 49ers have been looking at alternative sites out of the state for training camp, general manager John Lynch said this week on the "49ers Insider Podcast."
"We’re trying to prepare ourselves for just about anything,” Lynch said. “I wish I could tell you, 'Here's how it's going to go.' No one knows that right now, and we're all kind of eagerly awaiting information.”
If the 49ers are in a position to seek a one-year relocation for training camp due to California regulations, they will not be alone. The 49ers, Los Angeles Rams and Chargers could all be in competition for summer training facilities outside of the state. The Raiders, ahead of their first season in Las Vegas, intended to continue holding training camp in Napa.
"You always have to be prepared for everything," Lynch said. "And I think this pandemic that we're going through, there's so much unknown. And it 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.”
The NFL’s offseason has moved forward with few interruptions, including the release this week of the regular-season schedule. While teams are not allowed to meet, virtual offseason programs have started around the league.
The 49ers are continuing to prepare as if the preseason will kick off with a mid-August game at the Denver Broncos. The 49ers' first regular-season game is on the calendar for Sunday, Sept. 13, against the Arizona Cardinals at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara.
“(We’ll) continue to prepare in every aspect -- mentally, physically, as a team, but also the people that put together training camp, the logistical team and all that,” Lynch said. “We've got to prepare for a bunch of different scenarios."