The 49ers were found to be compliant with NFL’s COVID-19 protocols and will face no penalties, a league source confirmed to NBC Sports Bay Area on Thursday morning.
Following the positive test last week of wide receiver Kendrick Bourne, a mandatory investigation took place that found the 49ers were not in violation of league policies and will receive no penalties. Eric Branch of the San Francisco Chronicle was first to report the completion of the review.
The NFL and NFL Players Association jointly developed protocols to initiate a review of a team’s practices whenever an individual from that team tests positive for COVID-19.
Since Bourne’s initial positive test, he tested negative multiple times and was removed from the league’s reserve/COVID-19 list. Then, Bourne was placed back onto the list Monday after another positive test. But he has again tested negative, according to a source close to Bourne.
“I mean, positive, negative, negative, positive, negative,” 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan said on Wednesday. “I think everyone, those things happen, I guess, and we're all just dealing with it. I know it's a weird situation with him. It kind of is weird though, with everybody in the world, not just our football players."
Shanahan added, "We're just trying to do the best with the protocols and hope that he gets cleared up to where it's always negative and hopefully we can get him out of here later in the week.”
Bourne, the 49ers’ No. 3 pass-catcher with 25 receptions for 352 yards and a touchdown, could still be cleared and available to travel to New Orleans for the 49ers’ Week 11 game on Sunday.
Deebo Samuel, Brandon Aiyuk and Trent Williams were placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list last week and were ineligible to play against the Green Bay Packers on Thursday because they each had been determined to have experienced extended close contact with Bourne.
Those three individuals subsequently tested negative and were removed from the reserve/COVID-19 list the day after the game. Aiyuk and Williams will return to the lineup for the 49ers against the Saints. Samuel is returning from a hamstring injury and his status for the game is unclear.