Why Papa is concerned about 49ers' game against Saints originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea
But the combination of an international game on "Monday Night Football" heading into Thanksgiving Week means the 49ers haven't had as much time to prepare for their Week 12 matchup against the New Orleans Saints on Sunday at Levi's Stadium.
For 49ers broadcaster Greg Papa, that could present a problem for the leaders of the NFC West.
"It is Thanksgiving week," Papa told NBC Sports Bay Area's Matt Maiocco during the "Ask Papa" portion of the latest "49ers Talk" this week. "The trip to Mexico City is not like going to Europe. It's more like going to south Texas, you could look at it that way. Way, way south Texas. It's not like you're going over the Atlantic [ocean] and then you've got to take the bye if you're going to play in Germany or London.
"But this game, it is a short week. You got back at the crack of dawn Tuesday. It was a long day of travel. Wednesday's practice ... I don't know how much they're going to do other than a walkthrough. And then yeah, Thanksgiving. So what are you going to do on Thursday? That's your beefy day of practice but it's Thanksgiving. So this game does concern me."
Papa wondered why the 49ers (6-4) didn't take their bye week after the game in Mexico City, but coach Kyle Shanahan told reporters Wednesday that he wasn't given a choice, otherwise he would have picked this week for San Francisco's bye.
Instead, the 49ers' bye week fell on Week 9 after their Week 8 win over the Los Angeles Rams. And it came at a good time, allowing several injured players a chance to rest and return for San Francisco's Week 10 game against the Los Angeles Chargers.
The 49ers' current three-game winning streak will be put to the test against the Saints on Sunday. Despite their 4-7 record, New Orleans has an abundance of stars on offense that could cause problems for San Francisco.
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Avoiding a let-down against the Saints is crucial for the 49ers because their next three games are against the Miami Dolphins, Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Seattle Seahawks. If they can make it through that gauntlet in good shape, San Francisco closes the season with games against the Washington Commanders, Las Vegas Raiders and Cardinals.