49ers get early start to East Coast for Sunday's early start

Harbaugh details changes to practice schedule

49ers get early start to East Coast for Sunday's early start
January 10, 2014, 12:30 pm
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The 49ers left for Carolina about four hours earlier than usual on Friday. (USATASI)

SANTA CLARA -- Coach Jim Harbaugh said last week had given “some thought” to the idea of keeping the 49ers in the east to prepare if the 49ers won their playoff game against Green Bay to set up their next game at Carolina.

When CSNBayArea.com asked Harbaugh five days before the Green Bay game if he’d made a decision, he answered, “No. I’ll keep you posted.”

Harbaugh decided to bring the 49ers back to the Bay Area between games after their 23-20 victory in Green Bay. And just prior to leaving Friday for their trip to Charlotte, N.C., Harbaugh said keeping the team somewhere in the east was not a serious consideration.

[REWIND: 49ers beat Packers in Green Bay]

“I think when you asked me, ‘Did I think about it?’ I said, ‘Yes, I’ve thought about it,’” Harbaugh said. “Maybe you thought that I thought about it a lot more than I did. There was a possibility. It was a very quick thought and made the decision it was better to come back here.”

The 49ers moved up their practice times this week to get acclimated to the early start. The game will kick off at 1 p.m. in Charlotte or 10 a.m., Pacific time.

Also, the 49ers left their team facility at 11:45 a.m. to begin their journey to the East Coast. It’s the earliest the 49ers have left for a game in Harbaugh’s tenure. Typically, the 49ers leave on Eastern trips four hours later on Friday afternoons.

“Just felt like it was the thing to do this week,” Harbaugh said.