SANTA CLARA (CBS SF) — As the San Francisco 49ers prepare for their Sept. 13 regular season opener against the Arizona Cardinals, the club announced Monday that star linebacker Fred Warner has been placed on the league’s Reserve/COVID-19 List.
By league rules, the 49ers were not allowed to say if Warner had tested positive or if he was placed on the list for having come into contact with someone with the illness.
“The Reserve/Covid-19 List has been created for a player who either tests positive for COVID-19 or has been quarantined after having been in close contact with an infected person or persons,” the team said in a news release . “If a player falls into either of these categories, his club is required to immediately place the player on the Reserve/COVID-19 List. Clubs are not permitted to comment on player’s medical status other than referring to roster status and may not disclose whether the player is in quarantine or is positive for COVID-19.”
While not being able to talk about any specific details in relation to Warner’s situation, 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan said it serves as a reminder of the COVID-19 threat.
“I think it’s just a good reminder that no one’s out of the woods,” Shanahan said in an afternoon zoom call. “When you go a few weeks with nothing happening, you can start to feel pretty safe. It’s a reminder that this stuff’s out there, so we’ll see how it goes. I’m not going to get into it because I can’t, but you guys know the rules with it. So, there’s a couple options with the tests that come back and we’ll see how that goes each day.”
Since the 49ers opened training camp, the team has put into place a number of precautions to limit exposure and spread of the illness.
During a recent zoom call, San Francisco star running back Raheem Mostert was asked how seriously he and his teammates were taking the threat of possibly contracting COVID-19.
He reached down and grabbed a small device that was attached to a lanyard draped around his neck.
“This is not a bubble. COVID can come through at any time. We are definitely doing that (taking the threat of COVID-19 seriously),” he said. “That’s why we wear these monitors that blink when we get within 6 feet of each other.”
This is the NFL in the era of COVID-19. The 49ers have daily testing. Temperatures are taken. Distance monitors worn. Meeting rooms set up for social distancing.
“If you come into this building and every morning you go through the protocol — waking up at 6:30 a.m.-7 a.m. and meeting start at 9 a.m. and you have to make time to get your COVID testing check in, get your temperature checked — it should be an eye-opener,” he said.
Warner is one of the anchors of the 49ers vaulted defense. Any lengthy absence will have an impact.