Temperatures have approached triple digits many times this summer at the 49ers facility in Santa Clara, but the sweltering humidity offered by the state of Florida is not something that can be experienced naturally in Northern California.
With a trip to Tampa Bay for Week 1 looming, the 49ers have taken significant measures to prepare their players for what is expected to be a sizzling atmosphere at Raymond James Stadium.
“That’s probably as close as it can get to feeling like Tampa, except for the sun being on you,” said linebacker Azeez Al-Shaair, via The Athletic’s Matt Barrows. Al-Shaair is a Tampa native and grew up within a five-mile radius of the Buccaneers’ stadium.
The tent has been carefully monitored by Ben Peterson, the 49ers’ new director of player health and performance. Peterson was hired this offseason in an attempt to curb the 49ers’ struggles with the injury bug over the past two seasons.
“It’s going to be hot," head coach Kyle Shanahan said. “It’s not going to be fun, but it’s hot and not fun almost everywhere right now, so let’s make sure we’re prepared and go try to win a game.”
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No matter how many hours someone spends in a simulated environment, everything will be different when the pads come on and players must endure three hours with no escape from the sun.
We’ll find out just how much that offseason conditioning paid off when the 49ers' 2019 season kicks off at 1:25 PT on Sunday.
Whatever mystery there was surrounding George Kittle's health status for the 49ers' Week 11 game against the Cardinals has now been solved.
ESPN's Adam Schefter reported late Saturday night that San Francisco's All-Pro tight end will not play Sunday against Arizona, citing a source.
The aforementioned mystery was some of the 49ers' own doing. After Kittle was listed as day-to-day at the beginning of the week, San Francisco head coach Kyle Shanahan told Cardinals reporters on Thursday that Kittle would not play Sunday, only to have the organization walk those comments back hours later.
Kittle sat out the 49ers' Week 10 loss to the Seahawks. He originally was injured on San Francisco's first offensive play in the Week 9 win in Arizona, but still managed to catch six passes for 79 yards and a touchdown in that 28-25 victory. Kittle leads all 49ers' pass-catchers in receptions (46), receiving yards (541), yards after the catch (300) and first downs (28).
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Ross Dwelley is expected to start in Kittle's place at tight end against the Cardinals on Sunday. While Shanahan and the 49ers have confidence in Dwelley, there's no question San Francisco's offense will be negatively impacted by Kittle's absence.
Everything hasn't been coming up roses for the 49ers in the last week thanks to some injuries and an overtime loss to the Seattle Seahawks.
The team will face the Cardinals for the second time in three weeks in Week 11. After failing to sack Arizona quarterback Kyler Murray in the first meeting, Nick Bosa will try to do better the second time around.
Murray has been sacked 31 times, which ranks as the third-most in the league. San Francisco, on the other hand, ranks second in the NFL in total sacks (35) and yards allowed per game (251.6).
Here is how NFL writers across the league see the 49ers-Cardinals game shaking out:
Caesars: SF -480
Consensus: SF -500
Westgate: SF -550
Wynn: SF -550
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Josh Weinfuss, ESPN: 49ers 31, Cardinals 20
Nick Wagoner, ESPN: 49ers 27, Cardinals 17
Michael David Smith, PFT: 49ers 16, Cardinals 13
Michael Florio, PFT: 49ers 34, Cardinals 21