Sunday, May 20, 2018
Sports

49ers, league boost security

SAN FRANCISCO — The 49ers and NFL have adopted increased security measures for Sunday's game against the Giants.

Several Saints fans complained about abusive fans during Saturday's division game.

In response, undercover police will wear Giants merchandise. As they enter the stadium, fans wearing Giants merchandise will be handed a card on how to contact police if they feel threatened. And security cameras will be added.

Tailgating after kickoff previously was banned at Candlestick Park after two shootings, a beating and fights broke out during an Aug. 20 preseason game against the Raiders.

NFL security director Jeff Miller said if the security cameras or police see abusive behavior, fans will be yanked from the stadium.

"We're not going to be warning people inside the stadium," he said. "They will be removed."

Another stadium issue: Sunday marks the first game at Candlestick Park that will be primarily played under lights since two blackouts delayed the Dec. 19 game against the Steelers. The city of San Francisco and Pacific Gas & Electric insisted there won't be a repeat. The company said it has spent about $1 million in upgrades — including laying 11/2 miles of new wire — to the 51-year-old stadium since then. It added it has conducted a series of tests and has experienced no problems.

49ers: The team has been game planning with the expectation of rain and windy conditions. Forecasters predict a 40 percent chance of rain with 12 mph winds. "You just picture that field all mudded up," offensive coordinator Greg Roman said. "I think the receivers probably have an advantage on the defensive backs because they know where they're going and the defensive backs have to react. So if the footing is poor, the advantage is for the offense. On the same token, though, running backs can't hit a hole or can't make a cut that they usually would, so advantage defense. I think it works both ways."

Giants: TE Jake Ballard underwent a "little procedure" on his right knee Thursday, the team announced but is expected to play. Ballard missed the last two regular-season games after injuring the posterior cruciate ligament against Washington on Dec. 18 but has played in both playoff games. Neither he nor coach Tom Coughlin disclosed details of the procedure, Coughlin saying only it was "not surgery." Ballard sat out practice Friday after the knee swelled. "I'm not concerned," he said. "If I was missing a leg, that's probably what it would take to keep me off the field."

Ravens: S Ed Reed, who landed awkwardly on his left ankle Sunday against the Texans, practiced fully after being limited on Wednesday and Thursday and is expected to start Sunday.

Patriots: QB Tom Brady no longer is on the injury report. He missed practice Wednesday with a sore left (nonthrowing) shoulder but worked the next two days. He is not among the 17 Patriots listed on the injury report. All as well as Brady are expected to play.

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