It must be a slow Sunday Splash! news day.
Last year, the 49ers had a pair of early-season games at MetLife Stadium, against the Jets in Week Two and then against the Giants in Week Three. The first game resulted in multiple key injuries, with players publicly blaming the surface at the shared venue. This year, the 49ers had a Week One game at Detroit followed by a Week Two game at Philadelphia. Again, the first of two road games east of the Mississippi River resulted in multiple key injuries for San Francisco.
The only common link between the rash of injuries is that, between the two games, the 49ers spent the week sleeping and working at the Greenbrier Resort in West Virginia, which created a world-class NFL practice facility for Saints training camp nearly a decade ago, and which also has hosted the Texans for training camp and the Cardinals for the week between games far from home. None of the San Francisco injuries actually happened at the Greenbrier, however. That hasn’t stopped Adam Schefter of ESPN.com from writing an article that, coupled with a tweet blasted to nearly nine million accounts, creates the impression that one or more of the injuries happened at the Greenbrier.
No, none of them happened there. That didn’t stop Schefter from calling the Greenbrier the team’s “personal house of horrors.” It simply makes no sense, and it will cause some who scan the tweet as they scroll this morning to conclude — incorrectly — that maybe the Greenbrier is a place NFL teams should avoid in the future.
It’s nothing more than an effort to craft an item with no real basis for crafting an item. The fact that the 49ers have stayed in West Virginia for the week after two straight early-season road games that resulted in multiple injuries is a coincidental quirk. The real question is (or should be) whether the 49ers are or aren’t doing something to set the stage for these early-season injuries. Are there training-camp procedures that need to change? Preseason approaches? Is there an issue with the strength, training, nutrition, and/or flexibility plans?
Every week, guys get pretzeled around every NFL field, and nearly all of them pop up unscathed. Running back Raheem Mostert is lost for the year with a knee injury, even though there was no obvious moment in his limited playing time against the Lions that screamed out knee injury.
Speaking of screaming, Schefter’s effort (intentional or just clumsy) to make it look like the injuries happened at the Greenbrier missed the chance to mention, given his use of the term “house of horrors,” that the place is believed to be haunted. That would be at least more tangible than the unfair and inaccurate impression that the 49ers have suffered a second annual spate of injuries while practicing in West Virginia.