Kyle Shanahan got his wish.
The 49ers head coach has called for a shortening of NFL preseason in the past and that’s exactly what is going to happen in 2020, according to an ESPN report.
Though originally slated to be four games as per usual, the league is cutting the first and last preseason games from teams’ schedules, in an attempt to give players more time get in football shape, something that has been difficult this summer amid the coronavirus pandemic.
That means the 49ers games agains the Broncos in Denver and Chargers at Levi’s Stadium have been cancelled. San Francisco will now start the preseason slate vs. the Raiders at home on August 21, and their final matchup vs. the Bears in Chicago on Aug. 29. These changes are considered unofficial until the NFL confirms. NFL training camps are still scheduled to start on July 28.
It is expected that we’ve seen the last of a four-game preseason, as the league is expected to exercise a provision in 2021 that extends the regular season to 17 games, and cuts the preseason to three. The league has played four preseason games since it was shortened from six games in 1978.