Before the football season started, coaches and players around the country knew the 2020 season was going to be unconventional due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
For Charlotte, their 2020 season has been just that. Weird, crazy and full of uncertainty in just the first three weeks.
After losing a tightly contested game to Appalachian State in Week 1, the 49ers had to cancel their Week 2 matchup at UNC-Chapel Hill. The game was highly anticipated but Charlotte didn’t have enough players to play due to quarantine and contact tracing.
The team moved on and it looked like they would finally get back on the gridiron in a scheduled home opener against Georgia State on Sept. 26. Then again, devastation occurred. 15 minutes before they were going to head to Charlotte, Georgia State postponed the game due to positive coronavirus tests and contact tracing on their end.
“It seemed like we were at the finish line,” said Head Coach Will Healy. “You got a game. Parents coming, my parents coming. You feel like you were there.”
It was later revealed that the positive coronavirus tests were misread and the game could have been played as scheduled.
Nonetheless, the 49ers received another devastating blow to their 2020 season.
To fill the void of another Saturday without football, Healy and his staff got creative to keep the players active.
To start the morning off, the coaches played one another in a 7-on-7, as the players requested. Coach Healy’s dad, who was in town for the game, even got in on the action. The former Georgia Tech quarterback ran in a touchdown on the players.
Practice Player of the Day: 𝗥𝗢𝗕 𝗛𝗘𝗔𝗟𝗬Coach Healy’s dad, a 3-year starter at Georgia Tech, found one more day of eligibility to punch in this red zone score.✅✅✅#PEEP • #PEEPBOWL pic.twitter.com/PaXCMQbjfI— 𝗖𝗛𝗔𝗥𝗟𝗢𝗧𝗧𝗘 𝗙𝗢𝗢𝗧𝗕𝗔𝗟𝗟 (@CharlotteFTBL) September 26, 2020
In a Friday press conference, Healy also said he planned a wiffle ball tournament for the day off and other fun plans including golf for a certain group of players.
"Our players want to be around one another," said Healy. "I think it's important for our players to be around one another. We need to become closer as a unit."
The ability for players to get their mind off the disappointment from the last two weeks was the reason for the unique day off. As this season hasn’t been too kind to the 49ers yet, they still have time to find success this season.
Charlotte will also have players back from 14-day quarantine this week, which will add a much needed boost to the 49ers depth chart.
Charlotte goes into conference play this week against Florida Atlantic for an Oct. 3 matchup.The 49ers know anything can happen, but the plan is still to play the game on Saturday. Healy and his team are ready to be back in acction.
"They just want to go play," said Healy on the Week 3 matchup. "Tomorrow is not guaranteed. We learned that the past couple of weeks."