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Shanahan explains how air quality might impact 49ers' opener

NBC Sports

The 49ers had no plans Friday morning to change their practice schedule despite the worsening air quality in Santa Clara.

The air quality index rated at 194 at 11:45 a.m. in Santa Clara due to the fires in Northern and Central California. The 49ers are scheduled to practice Friday at 12:30 p.m.

The 49ers and Arizona Cardinals are set to open the regular season on Sunday at Levi’s Stadium.

The threshold for canceling practices or postponing NFL games is an air quality rating in excess of 200. The NFL office, which bases its decisions on more-accurate air quality readings near stadiums, makes the final decisions on how to move forward with games.

The 49ers and NFL have been in communication about the conditions for Sunday's game, NBC Sports Bay Area has been told.

Generally, a discussion of postponement or moving a game would take place the day before a game if the most up-to-date forecasts predict AQI readings of more than 200 for an extended period of time during the three-hour window of the game.

On Friday, 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan was asked during his appearance on KNBR if the air quality has an impact on the team’s ability to get outside and play football.

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“Once it gets to 200 it does,” Shanahan said, “because you’re not allowed to be out there after that.

“If it gets to 200 that would be a huge deal. I know when it’s above 150 that does affect a certain group of people that happen to be higher risk, pre-existing conditions, if it got above 150 you could lose a few players, but 200 is the mark where you can’t go out there.”