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Rodgers, Packers dominate depleted 49ers on Thursday Night Football – Sportsnet.ca

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SANTA CLARA, Calif. — Aaron Rodgers took advantage of the undermanned San Francisco 49ers rather than sympathizing with the team that dominated his Green Bay Packers twice last season.

Rodgers threw for 305 yards and four touchdowns and the Packers overwhelmed the depleted 49ers 34-17 on Thursday night.

“They’re a different team on paper for sure,” Rodgers said. “They’ve had some tough injuries to some really key players, but no one’s feeling sorry for anybody in this league. That’s the way it goes. Nobody’s feeling sorry for us. We’re dealing with injuries.”

Rodgers connected on deep shots to Davante Adams and Marquez Valdes-Scantling, and a short toss to Marcedes Lewis in the first half to get the Packers (6-2) out to a 21-3 lead over the Niners (4-5).

It was quite a reversal from the two meetings last season when San Francisco outscored Green Bay by a combined 50-0 in the first halves on the way to lopsided wins in the regular season and NFC title game.

The rematch looked nothing like those games in part because the Niners were missing almost all their key pieces from the game because of injuries and a positive coronavirus test for receiver Kendrick Bourne that also sidelined three of his teammates for “high risk” contacts.

That left San Francisco without quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo (ankle), All-Pro tight end George Kittle (foot), NFC title game star running back Raheem Mostert (ankle), receivers Deebo Samuel (hamstring) and Brandon Aiyuk (COVID-19 list), left tackle Trent Williams (COVID-19 list) and key defenders Nick Bosa (knee), Dee Ford (back) and Richard Sherman (calf).

“We knew it was going to be a challenge,” 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan said. “We knew at the start of the week it would be a challenge. Losing those three guys yesterday would be a bigger challenge. I still thought we could have a game. … I know we could have done better.”

Rodgers and the Packers, who were missing three players on the COVID-19 list, took advantage of the opportunity.

Rodgers capped the opening drive with a 36-yard shot to Adams, who made an acrobatic catch over Emmanuel Moseley in the end zone for his league-leading eighth TD reception of the season.

Nick Mullens had an apparent TD throw to River Cracraft wiped out on replay for San Francisco and then threw an interception to Raven Greene after backup left tackle Justin Skule got beat for a pressure from Preston Smith.

That mistake led to Rodgers’ 1-yard throw to Lewis and the Packers took control when Valdes-Scantling got behind the defence for the 52-yard catch late in the first half.

“I know they were missing some creatures on both sides of the ball, but that’s one of the better defences I think that we’ve played despite missing some of those guys,” Packers coach Matt LaFleur said. “On offence it’s always difficult going against Kyle and that staff.”

Rodgers added a second TD pass to Valdes-Scantling and the rout was on.

Adams finished with 10 catches for 173 yards, making him the first Packers player with three 150-yard receiving games since Donald Driver in 2006.

“We’re definitely in a groove right now,” Adams said. “I don’t have much to say about it, I don’t want to sound conceited or nothing, sound bad, but obviously when you start getting in a rhythm like that, it does get a lot easier.”

FAST STARTERS

Rodgers’ TD pass to Adams gave the Packers an opening drive score for the eighth straight game to open the season. The only other team to do that since 2000 was New England in 2007. The Patriots streak stopped after eight games. The Packers have four TDs and four field goals on opening drives for a league-best 40 points.

JONES’ STATUS

Packers star running back Aaron Jones returned after missing two games with a calf injury. He made an immediate impact, touching the ball on the first four plays to gain 37 yards. He finished with 15 carries for 58 yards, along with five catches for 21 yards.

BIG DAY

The lone bright spot for the 49ers was the performance of receiver Richie James Jr., who had nine catches for 184 yards and a TD. James entered the game with 295 yards receiving in 32 career games.

DEPLETED ROSTER

The run of injuries and coronavirus rules left the 49ers with a shell of a roster, especially on offence. They became the first team since the 1970 merger to play a game without its starting QB and six of its top seven players in yards from scrimmage, outside of the 1987 replacement player games.

INJURY REPORT

Packers: CB Jaire Alexander (concussion), T Rick Wagner (knee), LB Krys Barnes (calf) and RB Dexter Williams (knee) all left the game and didn’t return.

49ers: CB K’Waun Williams (ankle) and S Jaquiski Tartt (toe) left the game and didn’t return.

UP NEXT

Packers: Host Jacksonville on Nov. 15.

49ers: Visit New Orleans on Nov. 15.

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49ers may need temporary home after county bans contact sports – Sportsnet.ca

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The San Francisco 49ers and other teams may need to find a temporary new home after Santa Clara County on Saturday banned all contact sports from holding games and practices for the next three weeks.

County officials issued the directives in response to rising cases of the coronavirus in the area. The rules take effect Monday and will last until Dec 21.

The 49ers have home games scheduled for Dec. 7 against Buffalo and Dec. 13 against Washington at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara. The team also practices at that site in the county.

“We are working with the NFL and our partners on operational plans and will share details as they are confirmed,” the team said in a statement.

A person familiar with the situation said the NFL and 49ers prepared possible back-up plans before the season in case the Niners needed to move their operations and have an NFL stadium ready for games. The person spoke on condition of anonymity and gave no details on what those plans are because the league hadn’t made any announcement.

The rules also will impact the San Jose Sharks of the NHL and college teams at Stanford and San Jose State.

“For those teams, they will not be able to play games or have practices where they have direct contact, within the county,” Santa Clara County counsel James Williams said.

Williams said he has been in touch with the teams. None immediately responded to requests for comment.

Along with banning contact sports, the new rules also require anyone who has travelled more than 150 miles from the county to quarantine for 14 days. The 49ers are playing Sunday at the Los Angeles Rams but will return from that trip before the rules go into effect at 12:01 a.m. Monday.

“This pandemic is like a high-speed train, and our projections tell us that we are on target to derail by around the third week of December,” said Santa Clara County Health Officer Dr. Sara Cody. “If we don’t apply brakes, right now with all our collective might.”

Cody said Santa Clara County has the highest case rate in the Bay Area, leading to the stricter rules. If the other counties don’t follow, the 49ers could look to play at the Oakland Coliseum _ the Raiders’ old home _ or possibly the Giants’ baseball stadium in San Francisco.

The NHL hasn’t announced a date for the start of training camp but the Sharks have said they would look into alternate sites if needed. Several Sharks players have been holding informal workouts at the team facility in small groups.

Stanford and San Jose State also have several sports in season. The Cardinal have one scheduled home football game left on Dec. 12 against Oregon State.

The Spartans have home football games on Dec. 5 against Hawaii and Dec. 11 against Nevada. San Jose State practiced before the season a few hundred miles away at Humboldt State because of restrictions in Santa Clara County.

Stanford’s second-ranked women’s basketball team has a home game scheduled for Monday against San Diego. The athletic department is discussing options with university and county officials.

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Twitter Reaction: Football world offers Broncos advice during QB crisis – Sportsnet.ca

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The Denver Broncos find themselves in an unprecedented situation, with all of their quarterbacks ineligible to play Sunday due to COVID-19 concerns.

The team is expected to turn to Kendall Hinton as their emergency quarterback against the New Orleans Saints Sunday with Drew Lock, Brett Rypien, and Blake Bortles sidelined after the trio reportedly didn’t wear masks while coming in contact with fellow quarterback Jeff Driskel, who later tested positive for COVID-19.

Hinton has experience playing quarterback during his five years at Wake Forest but has never played a snap behind centre in the NFL — and was signed to the practice squad as a receiver.

The situation understandably drew plenty of reaction from around the football world:

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Vanderbilt's Sarah Fuller makes football history as 1st woman to kick for Power 5 school – CBC.ca

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Sarah Fuller made history, but her barrier-breaking kickoff was the only highlight for Vanderbilt as Missouri dominated the Commodores 41-0 on Saturday.

Fuller became the first woman to participate in a Power 5 conference football game when she kicked off to start the second half. Fuller delivered a low kick that bounced to the 35-yard line, where Missouri pounced on it.

WATCH | Sarah Fuller makes historic 1st kick in NCAA Division 1 game:

Soccer player Sarah Fuller makes history with her 2nd half kick-off for the Vanderbilt Commodores as she becomes the first woman to appear in a Power 5 football game. 1:42

The 21-year-old never got the chance to attempt a PAT or field goal, as the Tigers (4-3) rarely allowed the Commodores (0-8) to cross midfield in the Southeastern Conference game.

Fuller, a senior goalkeeper on the Vanderbilt soccer team, joined the football team this week after helping the Commodores win the Southeastern Conference Tournament last weekend. COVID-19 protocols and restrictions left Vandy football coach Derek Mason with a limited number of specialists available against Missouri. Mason reached out to soccer coach Darren Ambrose for some help.

Fuller agreed to give football a try and practised with the winless Commodores before making the trip to Missouri. She wore “Play Like A Girl” on the back of her helmet.

No woman had appeared in an SEC football game or for any Power Five team. Liz Heaston became the first woman to score with two extra points for Willamette in NAIA on Oct. 18, 1997.

Katie Hnida was the first woman to score at the Football Bowl Subdivision level with two extra points for New Mexico on Aug. 30, 2003.

April Goss was the second with an extra point for Kent State in 2015. Tonya Butler was the first woman to kick a field goal in an NCAA game for Division II West Alabama on Sept. 13, 2003.

“Let’s make history,” she wrote Friday on Twitter with a photo of herself wearing a football jersey with a soccer ball between her feet while holding a football in her hands.

After the game, Fuller had the following to say: “I haven’t taken a second to soak it all in, really. I think it’s incredible that I am able to do this.

“All I want to is be a good influence to the young girls. There were times that I struggled in sports but I am thankful I stuck with it.

“I just want to say, literally, you can do anything you set your mind to…that’s the No. 1 thing.”

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