The San Francisco 49ers on Wednesday shut down their facility a day before Thursday Night Football after a player tested positive for the coronavirus.
A league source revealed that Niners wide receiver Kendrick Bourne was diagnosed with COVID-19—a report the 49ers confirmed. Thursday’s game is will proceed as scheduled. The management will also enter the league’s “intensive protocol,” which includes contact tracing.
“The San Francisco 49ers were informed today that a player has tested positive for COVID-19 and the individual immediately went into self-quarantine,” the statement said. “Our organization has entered the NFL’s intensive protocol and we are working with the league on contact tracing to identify high-risk individuals. All team functions will be conducted virtually today.”
“The health and safety of our players, staff, and community are the organization’s highest priority. We will continue to work closely with the NFL and medical professionals and will follow their direction,” it continued, ESPN reported.
The San Francisco 49ers returned to the facility to practice early Tuesday evening after suffering a loss to the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday. They are scheduled to go up against Green Bay.
Bourne’s positive test result means he would not be allowed to play against the Packers, leaving the Niners short-handed at wide receiver after ruling out Deebo Samuel, who suffered from a hamstring injury. They had also waived wideout Dante Pettis and limited received Richie James who had an ankle issue.
The Niners also placed Brandon Aiyuk on the reserve/COVID-19 list after he was deemed a “close contact” of Bourne. Players who are considered high-risk close contacts are required to remain on the list for the next five days, as stated in the NFL guidelines.
The Packers will be playing without running back AJ Dillon after he was also diagnosed with the novel coronavirus on Monday. Running back Jamaal Williams and linebacker Kamal Martin were also listed as high-risk close contacts. Meanwhile, running back Aaron Jones was listed as questionable.
Thursday’s game will go on even if quarterback Nick Mullens won’t have the team’s top three receivers to catch his throws. He will also play without left tackle Williams protecting his blindside.
The 49ers may promote two of the team’s practice-squad receiver. They could also get a boost from veteran Jordan Reed who had previously been forced to miss the past five games due to a knee injury.
The team is expected to elevate Kevin White, who was promoted to the game-day roster when the Niners played against Miami and Los Angeles earlier this season. Despite playing only two snaps on offense, the 6-foot-3 wide received has seen considerable action.
White was previously the seventh overall pick of the Chicago Bears before he sustained injuries. He signed with the Arizona Cardinals after the Bears did not pick up his fifth-year option, but he was cut this summer.
The 28-year-old wide receiver has had 25 catches for 285 yards throughout his 26 career games. He has yet to score a touchdown, NBC Sports reported.
Ex-Washington State wide receiver River Cracraft may also play for the Niners against Green Bay on Thursday. He was elevated from the practice squad during the team’s Week 8 matchup against the Seattle Seahawks.
Cracraft entered the National Football League in 2017 with the Denver Broncos as an undrafted rookie. He caught 218 passes for 2,701 yards and has had over 20 touchdowns in his career, which spans four years.
He also appeared in parts of his three seasons with the Broncos and came up with at least one reception for 44 yards.
The San Francisco 49ers could also promote Finke, who appeared in 49 games during his college career. Finke was an undrafted rookie from Notre Dame when the Niners signed him.