Ross D. Franklin/Associated Press
Local restrictions prevented the 49ers from playing at their home in Santa Clara, California, leading the team to play its remaining home games at State Farm Stadium in Arizona.
According to Jay Glazer of Fox Sports, the NFL reached out to the team and is monitoring the 49ers for a potential playoff “bubble” situation:
Jay Glazer @JayGlazer
The Inside Story – Week 14! First of all happy Chanukah to all! My updates on the Wentz/Hurts situation for the #Eagles, when will Drew Brees be back for the #Saints, and is there a potential bubble situation for the #NFL.
#NFLNews #Updates #Glazer #NFLonFox #Football @NFLonFox https://t.co/UfD0KQLBYx
Glazer noted the league can evaluate mental health issues stemming from being away from families, while also asking players to wear their trackers for longer periods of time.
Outbreaks of the COVID-19 pandemic have caused players to miss games while the NFL has had to adjust its schedule several times throughout the year. These issues could become even greater in the playoffs, which has caused the league to consider creating bubbles during the postseason, isolating players in hotels outside of team activity.
While the 49ers are allowed to have family with them in Arizona, unlike the NBA bubble, they also don’t have many activities, as head coach Kyle Shanahan explained, via ESPN’s Nick Wagoner:
“You read about the NBA players in the bubble and all the mental issues they went through. Those guys were at least allowed to hang with each other. We’re not. We’re basically just in rooms here. … It’s just understanding that it’s human nature. Some stuff’s going to come up over the next three weeks and no one ignore it. Just always bring it to someone’s attention because the worst thing you could be in these situations is feel kind of alone on an island and we’ve got a big group going through it, so we can rally together and make sure we help each other through it.”
Speaking to 49ers players and coaching staff could provide valuable insight as to what players would go through in a similar situation.