INDIANAPOLIS -- The 49ers and Raiders have not played in the exhibition season for the past five years. And that’s something Raiders coach Jack Del Rio said he hopes changes in the near future.
Del Rio, speaking Thursday at the NFL Scouting Combine, told Bay Area reporters it just makes sense for the two Bay Area teams to meet annually during the exhibition season – if for no other reason than to cut down on travel.
The teams have not played each other since violence erupted at Candlestick Park during and after a 49ers-Raiders exhibition game in August 2011.
Jed York, the 49ers’ CEO, recommended the series be postposed for “some period of time.”
Del Rio said he is hopeful the annual series will be renewed and seemed to also be interested in joint practices with the 49ers.
The 49ers have held joint practices in recent summers with the Denver Broncos and Houston Texans.
Two hours after Del Rio made his comments, 49ers general manager John Lynch also said he was in favor of re-booting the series during the exhibition season.
"There are things that were going on that have to do with some things in the parking lot, but we can get over that," Lynch said. "If we present that in the right way, I think that’s good for the league. It’s good for our community. I’m a big fan of Jack’s, a big fan of their roster and what they’ve done with it. I think that would be great."