With the 49ers forced to play home games not in San Francisco but Arizona, the Rams and Chargers have begun to prepare for the possibility of playing not in L.A.
Charles Robinson of Yahoo Sports reports that the NFL has communicated with the Rams and Chargers about planning for a forced relocation resulting from the ongoing spread of the coronavirus.
“[NFL] operations may not be able to continue [in California] soon and considering where we’re at in the schedule, dramatic changes like the 49ers’ relocation of operations could encompass the remainder of the season,” an unnamed source told Robinson. “That could be the case for all of the teams [in California]. The situation is being monitored and how it will impact the rest of the season is a little fluid right now. But the best thing everyone can do is just prepare for any eventuality.”
California Governor Gavin Newsome has implemented a statewide order restricting out-of-home activities in counties based on ICU bed availability in local hospitals. If Los Angeles County’s intensive-care units fall below the 15-percent minimum, the Rams and Chargers may not be able to play at home.
On Thursday, Rams coach Sean McVay was asked whether he’d heard anything about a possible forced relocation.
“Have not,” McVay said. “No. Haven’t heard anything of that nature. I think you would probably know as soon as I do if anything was affected. But we know we’re focused on the Cardinals and don’t anticipate that to be an issue with next week’s game [on Thursday night against New England], if that’s what you’re alluding to as well.”
The Rams easily could finish their home schedule in Dallas, and the Chargers (but for a conflict that would need to be addressed next weekend) could finish out the season in Las Vegas.