Kyle Shanahan, 49ers ‘not worried’ about poor practice field conditions

Feb 6, 2024, 6:00 AM | Updated: 8:49 am

Head coach Kyle Shanahan of the San Francisco 49ers speaks to the media during Super Bowl LVIII Ope...

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The San Francisco 49ers have a full plate of problems ahead of them, but in their minds, one of them isn’t the UNLV practice field.

Reports emerged Monday afternoon of the Red & Gold being unhappy with the playing surface at their Super Bowl practice field. The stories indicated that coach Kyle Shanahan and the players felt the college facility’s outdoor field was too soft, preferring a firmer feel when playing.

Additionally, reports indicated that sod was put over the field’s turf only a week prior to the 49ers arrival, giving it a “spongy” feel.

Of course, the 49ers would rather practice at the Las Vegas Raiders’ state-of-the-art facility, where the Kansas City Chiefs will do their preparation. But as of now, SF hasn’t changed its course over the next few days.

“We’re not worried about it at all. It is what it is. We’re here and we won’t change anything,” Kyle Shanahan said Monday night about the field. “It improves each day so hopefully it will get better and better.”

Other players felt a similar way, not 100% positive it was even playable. But, the 49ers have managed through worse, only really worrying about playing surfaces if they had to play the Super Bowl out there.

“It was a little soft, but we’re not playing on it, so we’re not tripping,” 49ers cornerback Charvarius Ward stated.

The 49ers are no stranger to sub-optimal fields, haunted by what occurred at MetLife Stadium during the 2020 season.

In the span of a few hours, San Francisco lost defensive linemen Nick Bosa and Solomon Thomas, and running backs Raheem Mostert and Tevin Coleman, to knee injuries. Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo also sprained his ankle in the contest.

Since then, the 49ers have been particular about the fields they play on. Several players have been outspoken on the matter as well, including Bosa.

“It’s okay, we’ll see on Wednesday,” Bosa said when asked about it.

His displeasure was palpable, however, stating that he wasn’t “supposed to say anything” about the matter.

As for the NFL’s stance: They see no problem with it, other than the 49ers being argumentative over minor details ahead of The Big Game.

“That work is being done every single day,” NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said Monday. “We had 23 experts out there. We had the union out there. All of them think that’s a very playable surface. It’s softer than what they have practiced on, but that happens. It’s well within all of our testing standards. It’s something that we think all our experts, as well as neutral field inspectors, have all said unanimously that it’s a playable field.”

Upcoming Schedule for Kyle Shanahan and San Francisco 49ers

  • Sunday, February 11th – Super Bowl LVIII – San Francisco 49ers vs. Kansas City Chiefs – 3:30 PM PST

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