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Players union exec: 49ers’ practice fields didn’t get plastic

HENDERSON — JC Tretter, president of the NFL Players Association, said Wednesday that plastic was supposed to be placed on top of UNLV’s practice fields but was never installed.

“I don’t know how that doesn’t happen,” Tretter said.

The NFL placed natural grass on top of the Rebels’ field turf, and San Francisco 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan complained it was too soft. But Shanahan said the team will practice there all week instead of trying to find another field and another time for practice.

“This is the best choice we’ve got,” he said after Wednesday’s practice.

“We’re here. We’re practicing on it. Everyone has their preferences. We wish things were better, but we’ll deal with it how it is.”

The 49ers are practicing at UNLV this week for Sunday’s Super Bowl against the Kansas City Chiefs. Kansas City is working out at the Raiders’ facility.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said Monday that the playing surface at UNLV met the necessary standards and the union signed off on it, as did 23 experts.

“It’s softer than what they practiced on, but that happens,” Goodell said.

Tretter said the standards needed to be higher.

“Playable is not the same thing as high quality,” Tretter said. “So, we can’t kinda talk out of both sides of our mouth on this.”

San Francisco players, however, raved about the other facilities at UNLV.

“I’m shocked because they’re in the Mountain West,” said 49ers safety Tashaun Gipson, who played in that conference at Wyoming. “I’m shocked the locker room is that nice. We’ve got to do better at Wyoming. The fields are the fields, but the weight room and everything is pretty decent.”

Cornerback Deommodore Lenoir played at Oregon, known for having excellent facilities.

“UNLV, I love their locker room,” Lenoir said. “It reminds me of Oregon’s. The whole setup was exactly how ours was. The facilities are just like Oregon’s, too.”

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