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49ers RB Raheem Mostert cancels autograph session due to coronavirus fears

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The coronavirus outbreak is starting to affect the NFL.

While no official event has been canceled, San Francisco 49ers running back Raheem Mostert announced Wednesday that he is canceling an autograph appearance in Santa Clara previously scheduled for March 8.

Mostert also added the happier news that he and his wife are expecting a second child in the fall.

Mostert ascended to notoriety last season as the top running back for the NFC champion Niners, racking up 772 rushing yards and eight touchdowns on 5.64 yards per rush.

It remains to be seen if any other notable names pull out from the Santa Clara convention. Carolina Panthers running back Christian McCaffrey and Golden State Warriors guard Klay Thompson are also scheduled to make an appearance, as are NFL greats like Jerry Rice, Joe Montana, Bo Jackson, Troy Aikman and Ronnie Lott.

San Francisco 49ers running back Raheem Mostert (31) runs against the Green Bay Packers during the second half of the NFL NFC Championship football game Sunday, Jan. 19, 2020, in Santa Clara, Calif. (AP Photo/Tony Avelar)
Raheem Mostert might not be the only player cancelling autograph sessions. (AP Photo/Tony Avelar)

Coronavirus wreaking havoc with sports schedules

Sporting events are hardly the biggest worry with the coronavirus outbreak — the global death toll has topped 3,200 as of Thursday — but their cancellations and adjustments have been highly conspicuous as the virus spreads around the world.

There were recent worries that the Summer Olympics in Tokyo would have to be postponed, though they are reportedly moving ahead as scheduled. Harder hit countries like Italy and Japan are already playing major sporting events in empty stadiums, an idea that could reach stateside if the outbreak worsens.

The NCAA has established a panel on how to handle the outbreak after a call to play the March Madness tournament in empty arenas, while the NBA has instructed players to avoid high fives and autographs.

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