NFL unveils 49ers' first-ever 17-game schedule for 2021 originally appeared on NBC Sports Bay Area
The 49ers' road back to the NFL playoffs begins Sept. 12 against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field in Detroit, Mich.
The NFL announced the 49ers' 2021 regular-season schedule Wednesday. The 49ers will play a 17-game schedule for the first time in franchise history, with eight games at Levi's Stadium and nine on the road.
The team schedule also features three Sunday Night Football on NBC games: Week 3 against the Green Bay Packers, Week 7 against the Indianapolis Colts, and Week 13 against division rival Seattle Seahawks.
That extra game -- against Joe Burrow and the Cincinnati Bengals -- will occur in Week 14 on Dec. 12 at Paul Brown Stadium.
The 49ers will have a bye in Week 6. They'll conclude the regular season on Jan. 9, 2022 with a Week 18 date against the division-rival Rams in Los Angeles.
Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo will enter the season as the 49ers' presumptive starter, but it's possible one of these 17 dates marks the debut of rookie QB Trey Lance. The 49ers selected Lance with the No. 3 overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft last month.
The 49ers finished 6-10 a year ago, playing six of eight home games at Levi's Stadium before relocating to Glendale, Ariz. for their last two home games amid shelter-in-place orders in Santa Clara County. Fans weren't allowed at Levi's Stadium last season due to restrictions aimed at limiting the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.