NFL monitoring air quality in Santa Clara, which could be issue for Sunday’s game

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The 49ers currently are practicing outside in Santa Clara. The air quality index apparently met the threshold for the team to practice in the smoke but not by much.

Only 45 minutes before Friday’s practice, the air quality index rated at 194 in Santa Clara due to the fires in northern and central California, Matt Maiocco of NBCSportsBayArea.com reports. The threshold for the NFL to cancel practices or postpone games is 200.

The NFL makes the final decision on games, and the 49ers are in communication with the league office about the conditions for Sunday’s game, according to Maiocco.

“If it gets to 200, that would be a huge deal,” 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan said during an appearance on KNBR on Friday. “I know when it’s above 150 that does affect a certain group of people that happen to be higher risk, pre-existing conditions, if it got above 150 you could lose a few players, but 200 is the mark where you can’t go out there.”

The NFL uses the EPA’s website to monitor the air quality index, according to Josh Weinfuss of ESPN, and is prepared to relocate a game if there “definitive evidence” the AQI will stay above 200 for a significant period of time.

“I’m sure that discussions are going on right now to figure out the best and safest option,” Cardinals coach Kliff Kingsbury said, via Weinfuss. “I don’t know what that would be at this point, but I’m sure they’ll come to a good place.”