ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (AP) — The San Francisco 49ers and Denver Broncos will hold joint practices in the lead-up to their Aug. 29 preseason game in Denver.
The 49ers will be the first opponent to use the Broncos’ shiny new $35 million field house complete with hot tubs, locker rooms, meeting rooms and an indoor practice field in case of bad weather.
Last season, the Houston Texans had to load onto buses while still in uniform and shower back at their hotel several miles away following two joint practices with the Broncos.
The 49ers and Broncos, each with new coaches, will work out against each other Aug. 26-27.
Joint practices are becoming more popular in the NFL as teams pull back on the snaps starters get during the exhibition season. Nearly half of the league’s 32 teams practiced against another team last summer, including the 49ers, who faced off against the Baltimore Ravens without any issues.
It was another story with the Texans and Broncos.
As Denver tackle Ryan Clady noted last year about joint practices: “There are going to be fights. It’s kind of the nature of the game.”
Sure enough, the teams got into several skirmishes during their six hours of officiated practices. The bad blood boiled over into the game, too, when then-Houston safety D.J. Swearinger, at the center of several of those scrums, left then-Broncos wide receiver Wes Welker concussed with a hard hit.
One play later, Peyton Manning threw a touchdown pass then ran up and yelled at Swearinger. That resulted in the first taunting foul of the five-time MVP’s career and also an $8,268 fine, which Manning famously called “money well spent.”