49ers’ Jed York: There Will Be an NFL Season ‘In Some Way, Shape or Form’

San Francisco 49ers owner Jed York speaks during an NFL football press conference announcing a new head coach and general manager Thursday, Feb. 9, 2017, in Santa Clara, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

Marcio Jose Sanchez/Associated Press

San Francisco 49ers CEO Jed York is optimistic that there will be an NFL season in 2020 despite the coronavirus pandemic. 

Speaking to Jennifer Lee Chan of NBC Sports Bay Area on Thursday, York said he’s “confident” that “in some way, shape or form” this season will be played. 

York did note he’s unclear about specifics, including possible fan attendance and locations, but the 49ers medical team “has done an incredible job planning protocols and procedures for when we start up again.”

Per Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio, sources with knowledge of the NFL’s planning said there’s an “extremely small” chance there won’t be any games played. 

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institutes for Health, told NBC Sports’ Peter King in May that he’s hopeful safety protocols and proper testing will be more readily available by the time the NFL season begins: 

“Right now, it would be overwhelmingly piggish. But by the end of August, we should have in place antigen testings . . . You could test millions of people, millions of people. But again, we have to make sure that the companies that are doing these tests actually produce them. Which given the country that we have, such a rich country, I would be very surprised if we can’t do that.”

The NFL and NFLPA issued a planner to all 32 teams this week that outlines procedures for reopening practice facilities. It didn’t include potential dates for all players to return to their team’s complex, but it did provide information about a number of topics, including health and safety protocols and physical distancing. 

As of right now, the NFL preseason is scheduled to begin on Aug. 6 with the Dallas Cowboys and Pittsburgh Steelers playing in the Hall of Fame Game at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium in Canton, Ohio.

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