San Francisco 49ers

49ers’ season starts with Panthers; features 3 consecutive road games

Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton walks onto the field during player introductions before a game against the Atlanta Falcons in Charlotte, N.C., on Nov. 16, 2014.
Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton walks onto the field during player introductions before a game against the Atlanta Falcons in Charlotte, N.C., on Nov. 16, 2014. Associated Press file

The 49ers will be very interested Cam Newton’s recovery from shoulder surgery.

That’s because the 49ers will host Newton and the Carolina Panthers in the 2017 season opener on Sept. 10 at Levi’s Stadium. That will be followed by a 49ers road trip to Seattle and then a Thursday game – the only prime-time affair on San Francisco’s 16-game schedule – at home against the Rams.

Newton, the Panthers’ three-time Pro Bowl quarterback and a former league MVP, underwent surgery last month to repair a partially torn rotator cuff in his throwing shoulder. He is expected to miss spring practices but is scheduled to be back for training camp.

The toughest stretch of San Francisco’s schedule appears to be following the Week 3 game against the Rams, when they will play three road games in a row – at Arizona, Indianapolis and Washington. The last time the 49ers had three consecutive road games was 2005, when they went to Seattle, Jacksonville and St. Louis in December. They won one of them, 24-20 over the Rams.

This year the 49ers will begin December with back-to-back road games – against the Chicago Bears and Houston Texans. It’ll be the third year in a row they’ve visited Chicago in December.

They will close the season with home games against AFC South opponents Houston and Tennessee before going back on the road for a New Year’s Eve finale against the Rams.

Los Angeles was the only team the 49ers beat last season, winning both matchups while finishing 2-14.

For a week-by-week look at the 49ers’ upcoming season, click here.

Matt Barrows: @mattbarrows, read more about the team at sacbee.com/sf49ers.

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