The 49ers only can hope the remainder of their 10-day road trip goes more smoothly than the beginning.
The team's flight Friday afternoon to New Jersey was delayed by 90 minutes, and the traveling party did not land on the East Coast until nearly 2 a.m.
After the NFL canceled the preseason due to the COVID-19 global pandemic, this was the first flight the 49ers have taken as a team since the trip to Miami for Super Bowl LIV.
“I’m very excited for this week,” 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan told Greg Papa on 49ers Game Plan. “I think it comes at a needed time.
“Going on the road is . . . I hate playing outside of Levi’s, but when the fans aren’t there, it’s not that big of deal. We don’t mind going on the road. It’s going to be quiet there.”
Coming off a Week 1 loss to the Arizona Cardinals at Levi’s Stadium, the 49ers return to action Sunday against the New York Jets at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey.
Following the game, the 49ers will travel to The Greenbrier in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia. The club will stay and practice there to prepare for their Week 3 game back at MetLife Stadium against the New York Giants.
“We’re going to be staying in a cool spot,” Shanahan said. “Our team will be comfortable. We’ll have a good setup there. It’s always good to spend some time with the team.”
Shanahan said his team can derive benefits from the extended road trip, allowing the squad more time to bond and create chemistry on and off the field.
The 49ers twice remained on the road last season between back-to-back East Coast road games.
The group stayed in Youngstown, Ohio, between their Weeks 1 and 2 games at Tampa Bay and Cincinnati. In December, the 49ers practiced at the IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida, between games at Baltimore and New Orleans.
The 49ers won three of those games, including the back ends of both trips.
“It’s always tough to be away from your family for that long, but our families also had a lot of us these last four months,” Shanahan said. “So it’s not as hard as it usually is, going away. I think it’s as needed as a time as we’ve had.”