SANTA CLARA (CBS SF) — The San Francisco 49ers announced Wednesday afternoon that the team would face the Green Bay Packers without LT Trent Williams and WR Brandon Aiyuk because they had close contact to WR Kendrick Bourne, who tested positive for COVID-19.
Both Williams and Ayiuk were added to the Reserve/COVID-19 List, along with WR Deebo Samuel, who was already on IR for a hamstring injury.
The team is able to replace Williams with Justin Skule but will have to tap deep into its practice squad for wide receivers.
#49ers LT will be Justin Skule.
Their WRs will be:
— Akash Anavarathan (@akashanav) November 5, 2020
Early Wednesday, a little over 24 hours before they were to host the Green Bay Packers, the injury ravaged San Francisco 49ers were forced to shut down their training facility because of a positive COVID-19 test.
Jennifer Lee Chan first reported the development at the team’s Santa Clara facility. ESPN’s Adam Schefter’s source told him wide receiver Kendrick Bourne had tested positive. It was not known if other players will also be forced to sit out after contract tracing.
BREAKING: Team source confirms #49ers COVID testing results revealed a positive test. Their facility will be closed immediately.
— Jennifer Lee Chan (@jenniferleechan) November 4, 2020
The 49ers released the following statement:
“The San Francisco 49ers were informed today that a player has tested positive for COVID-19 and the individual immediately went into self-quarantine. 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.”
Bourne’s agent confirmed the positive test during a call with local reporter Matt Maiocco.
Kendrick Bourne’s agent, @henryorgann, tells me: “I just got off the phone with Kendrick this morning. He is extremely sad but taking this very seriously and isolating himself in the house.”
Bourne is not feeling any symptoms, his agent said. #49ers
— Matt Maiocco (@MaioccoNBCS) November 4, 2020
It was also not known what if any impact the report would have on Thursday night’s game at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara. The Packers were also dealing with their own COVID-19 related roster issues coming into the contest.
Running back A.J. Dillon reportedly tested positive and won’t play in Thursday’s game. Running back Jamaal Williams and linebacker Kamal Martin are also out because of COVID-19 protocols as close contacts.
Cam Inman, the 49ers beat writer for the Bay Area News Group, recently battled COVID-19 himself and expressed concern about the NFL allowing Thursday night’s game to proceed.
“Because it wallops you and your system and all those around you. Your family, your friends,” he said.
Inman went on to say the league allowing the game to continue as scheduled was not a surprise, considering how the NFL has dealt with coronavirus cases.
“The NFL has run this season in such a way where, it’s just one or two guys,” he said. “That’s why we gave you extra players on your practice squad so those guys can go sit and get healthy. And we’re going to go ahead and the show must go on.”
Across the league positive tests have become an issue. On Tuesday, the Baltimore Ravens placed seven defensive players on the reserve/COVID-19 list as a result of contact tracing linked to Marlon Humphrey’s positive test.
Matt Judon, Tyus Bowser, Patrick Queen, L.J. Fort, Malik Harrison, Terrell Bonds and DeShon Elliott will have to undergo isolation for five days and will have to pass COVID-19 tests before they’re eligible to play in Baltimore’s Week 9 game against the Indianapolis Colts.
Meanwhile, Arizona Cardinals linebacker Devon Kennard and cornerback Byron Murphy have been placed on reserve/COVID-19 list after positive test results over the weekend. Head Coach Kliff Kingsbury says both players would miss Sunday’s game against the Miami Dolphins.
In Dallas, Cowboys quarterback Andy Dalton, who was expected to return to the lineup this week after sitting out with a concussion, was placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list Tuesday, officially knocking him out of Sunday’s game against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
And in Denver, Broncos GM John Elway and CEO Joe Ellis also have reportedly tested positive for COVID-19.
This is the first positive coronavirus test for the 49ers since the start of the regular season. They had three players on the COVID-19 list in the preseason, with receiver Richie James Jr., running back Jeff Wilson Jr. and linebacker Fred Warner all spending time on the list.