SATURDAY: Greenlaw will return this week. The 49ers officially activated the starting linebacker from IR on Saturday. The third-year veteran will suit up for the first time since Week 1.
WEDNESDAY: The injury-ridden 49ers are set to see one of their promising young defenders return this week. Kyle Shanahan expects Dre Greenlaw to be activated from IR before Sunday’s game against the Vikings, Matt Barrows of The Athletic tweets.
This comes four days after fellow defender safety Jaquiski Tartt returned to the 49ers’ active roster. Similar to the 2020 season, the 49ers have seen a large number of role players spend time on injured reserve — including Greenlaw and Pro Bowlers Dee Ford and Jason Verrett. Recent first-round picks Mike McGlinchey and Javon Kinlaw, who are both out for the season, joined them.
Greenlaw is on track to return after a nine-game absence. The third-year linebacker underwent groin surgery following the team’s season-opening win in Detroit. Greenlaw returned an interception 39 yards for a touchdown in that game but has not suited up since.
A fifth-round pick out of Arkansas, Greenlaw has been a starter since being drafted in 2019. Prior to this extended absence, Greenlaw played in all but three games over his first two seasons. His presence alongside Fred Warner has been a saving grace after the Reuben Foster and Kwon Alexander moves did not work out.
Ford is also set to return to practice, Eric Branch of the San Francisco Chronicle notes, following a four-game absence due to a flareup of ongoing back issues. Ford, 30, is still on San Francisco’s IR. It is expected the 49ers will monitor the veteran edge rusher’s snap count, as they did earlier in the season, to accommodate the back issues that Shanahan says “he’ll deal with most likely forever.”
After a one-game 2020, Ford returned to play in San Francisco’s first six contests this season. The former Chiefs first-rounder has tallied three sacks and a forced fumble this year.