Dre Greenlaw

49ers LB Dre Greenlaw Unlikely To Be Ready For Week 1

Dealt a strange blow when Dre Greenlaw suffered an Achilles tear while trotting onto the field during Super Bowl LVIII’s first half, the 49ers attempted multiple insurance measures. The Eric Kendricks plan did not pan out, leading De’Vondre Campbell to San Francisco.

The eight-year veteran will be set to team with Fred Warner in the event Greenlaw’s rehab does not have him ready to play by Week 1. Although Greenlaw underwent surgery shortly after the Super Bowl, the recent LB pursuit would suggest the 49ers are concerned the longtime Warner sidekick will not be ready in time to start the season.

John Lynch said at this week’s owners meetings (via NBC Sports Bay Area’s Matt Maiocco) Greenlaw is aiming to be back on time, but the eighth-year GM indicated this also may lead to a situation in which the reserve/PUP list is needed.

Greenlaw will almost definitely begin training camp on the active/PUP list, but a shift to the reserve/PUP list would sideline him for at least four games. Early October would represent a near-eight-month recovery timetable. While some players have beaten that — including ex-49ers wideout Michael Crabtree back in 2013 — caution would make sense on the 49ers’ part.

Kendricks backed out of a 49ers agreement to sign with the Cowboys. The longtime Vikings linebacker reunited with new Cowboys DC Mike Zimmer, but the 49ers offered him a better deal than the one-year, $3MM ($2.5MM guaranteed) contract he inked with Dallas. Kendricks said the 49ers wanted him to start the season in Greenlaw’s place, a three-down role, before likely moving to a part-time gig once the regular starter came back. Campbell signed a one-year, $5MM contract ($4.56MM guaranteed) soon after Kendricks backtracked.

I didn’t want to be in a situation where I was playing in a position all year and then had to potentially switch to another position — rotating in and out,” Kendricks said on the Bussin’ With Boys podcast (via the San Francisco Chronicle’s Eric Branch). “I wanted to be on the field. I wanted to make a difference. I wanted to make an impact, and that’s why, ultimately, I had to make a change for myself.”

Kendricks joined a team with a greater need for a full-time linebacker, as Greenlaw should be expected to return at some point during the season’s first half. Crabtree went down in late May 2013 and returned in early December. The 49ers could opt to leave Greenlaw off the PUP list and go week to week, but their Kendricks communications suggest a Warner-Campbell setup at linebacker to start the year. Greenlaw is going into his age-27 season. Greenlaw’s two-year, $16.4MM contract expires after the 2024 slate, raising the stakes for the former fifth-round pick to recover and play well this season.

49ers LB Dre Greenlaw Suffers Achilles Tear

FEBRUARY 15: Greenlaw has already undergone surgery. The Pro Bowl defender went under the knife for what NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport calls a successful surgery Thursday. While this injury obviously occurred at a historically inopportune time for the 49ers, Greenlaw is expected to make a full recovery.

FEBRUARY 12: The 49ers lost Dre Greenlaw in unusual fashion midway through last night’s Super Bowl loss. As many feared upon witnessing the injury, the fifth-year linebacker now faces a lengthy recovery.

Head coach Kyle Shanahan confirmed after the game that Greenlaw suffered a torn Achilles on Sunday. After a 49ers punt, Greenlaw went down while making his way from the sidelines back onto the field. The non-contact injury left him in need of being carted off the field, and he was quickly ruled out for the remainder of the contest.

The 26-year-old missed the regular season finale with Achilles tendonitis, an ailment which lingered through the postseason. Coupled with the various other injuries he played through during the year, Greenlaw’s ability to simply dress for the Super Bowl drew praise. Given his health situation heading into the game, however, it comes as little surprise he was ultimately forced to leave.

Again partnering with Fred Warner as part of arguably the league’s top linebacker tandem, Greenlaw had a productive 2023 campaign while battling through injury. In 15 contests, he recorded 120 tackles, 1.5 sacks and four pass deflections. He remained a key playmaker in the postseason, recording a pair of interceptions (including a game-winner in the divisional round) en route to the Super Bowl. The former fifth-rounder registered three tackles on Sunday before suffering the injury.

Oren Burks filled in at linebacker the rest of the way, and he played a role on a San Francisco defense which kept Kansas City’s offense in check for much of the game. Greenlaw’s absence was no doubt acutely felt, however, down the stretch and in overtime in particular when the Chiefs pulled off the victory. Burks is a pending free agent, but Greenlaw is under contract for 2024 as a result of the extension he signed early in the 2022 campaign.

The latter will now turn his attention to a long recovery process in the hopes of being able to suit up by the start of next season. His ability to return to form when on the field will be a key factor in determining his value on another new contract with San Francisco (which has Warner on the books at a cap hit of $24MM-plus over the next three years) or an another team. His rehab process will be worth monitoring over the offseason.

NFC West Notes: Cardinals, Draft, Purdy, 49ers, Ebukam, Clark, Seahawks, Staff

The Cardinals have fared well when picking in the top five over the past two decades, landing the likes of Larry Fitzgerald, Patrick Peterson and Kyler Murray. The team’s second-half swoon last season led to a rebuild, giving a new regime the No. 3 overall pick. Similar to the Bears, the Cards are prepared to move down. GM Monti Ossenfort made that clear, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com notes (video link). The team gave Murray a landmark extension last summer, and although Year 1 of that deal did not go well, he remains Arizona’s franchise quarterback. As such, the team will be prepared to move down to accommodate a QB-seeking team (or one eyeing the top non-passer available) that was unable to land Chicago’s pick. Such a move would bolster a roster that enters free agency with several holes.

Here is the latest from the NFC West:

  • Ossenfort also said the Cardinals have been in talks with free agents-to-be Zach Allen and Byron Murphy. The first-year GM indicated the Cardinals “would love” to keep both players, though he noted the obvious financial caveat (via AZCardinals.com’s Darren Urban) that could lead each out of town. Both were drafted to play in Vance Joseph‘s system in 2019, and each will be among the top free agents at their respective positions. If Murphy and Allen leave, cornerback and defensive line would become areas of dire need in Arizona. The Cards did not put much around Murphy since Peterson’s 2021 exit, and Allen following J.J. Watt off the roster would obviously put the onus on the NFC West squad adding reinforcements up front.
  • Brock Purdy‘s postponed elbow surgery will take place Friday, Matt Barrows of The Athletic tweets. The breakthrough 49ers quarterback was initially scheduled to undergo the UCL repair Feb. 22, but swelling led to a delay. The seventh-round pick who would be on track to retain his starting role is expected to face a six-month recovery timetable, which would run up against Week 1. This creates more QB uncertainty in San Francisco, though Trey Lance is on track to participate in OTAs. The plan remains for Purdy to have a less invasive elbow procedure, but he acknowledged Tommy John surgery — elbow reconstruction — could take place. The latter route would threaten to hijack Purdy’s 2023 season.
  • The 49ers discussed trading for Frank Clark before the veteran defensive end agreed to a Chiefs restructure in 2022, Eric Branch of the San Francisco Chronicle notes. Clark is now available, having been a Chiefs cap casualty this week. The former Seahawks draftee’s 13.5 playoff sacks are the third-most in NFL history, but he never topped eight during a regular season with the Chiefs. The 49ers could consider Clark opposite Nick Bosa, with Samson Ebukam being viewed (via Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com) as likely to price himself out of San Francisco. Ebukam, 27, recorded 9.5 sacks in his two-year 49ers run. He could command an eight-figure-per-year deal, per Fowler, as this edge rusher market is fairly light. Even ahead of his age-30 season, Clark may not come much cheaper.
  • Azeez Al-Shaair figures to join Ebukam on the way out of the Bay Area, Barrows adds. The 49ers have already given Fred Warner a top-market contract, and they reached a midlevel agreement to retain ascending sidekick Dre Greenlaw last year. Al-Shaair will join a crowded off-ball linebacker market next week.
  • The Seahawks went through with some front office promotions recently. Nolan Teasley has moved into the role of assistant GM, while Matt Berry will become the team’s senior director of player personnel. Teasley has been with the team since 2013, moving up from the scouting level. Berry has been working with the Seahawks longer than GM John Schneider, having started with the team in 2008. Additionally, Willie Schneider will step into Beasley’s former role of pro personnel director. Aaron Hineline will replace Berry as director of college scouting.
  • The Seahawks’ recent Phil Haynes deal will be a one-year, $4MM pact, Brady Henderson of ESPN.com tweets. The prospective guard starter will receive a fully guaranteed $1.3MM base salary and a $2.2MM signing bonus.

Latest On Dre Greenlaw, 49ers Injuries

A pair of 49ers players suffered injuries during Week 17, but it sounds like the organization got good news on the duo. Coach Kyle Shanahan told reporters that guard Aaron Banks and linebacker Dre Greenlaw won’t miss much time with their respective injuries.

“As bad as both of them (injuries) looked, (we) didn’t know if it would be for the whole season or not,” Shanahan said (via Matt Maiocco of NBC Sports Bay Area). “Feel like we got some good news on that so far.”

Brooks is dealing with ankle and knee sprains that will force him to miss the regular season finale, but the offensive lineman is expected to be back for San Francisco’s first playoff game. The 2021 second-round pick has settled into a starting role for the 49ers this season, starting all 16 of his appearances. Pro Football Focus ranks Brooks 40th among 79 qualifying offensive guards, with the site giving him particularly good grades for his pass-blocking ability.

Greenlaw exited Sunday’s win over the Raiders with a back injury, and while the player still hasn’t gotten a full evaluation, he’s not expected to miss a whole lot of time. After being limited to only three games in 2021, Greenlaw has stormed back this year, leading the 49ers with 127 tackles. PFF ranks Greenlaw seventh among 84 qualifying linebackers, including a top-five mark in coverage.

Elsewhere on the injury front, Shanahan recently revealed that defensive tackle Kevin Givens should be back for the start of the playoffs, per Maiocco on Twitter. The defensive lineman hasn’t played since suffering a knee injury in Week 14.

49ers To Activate Elijah Mitchell, Azeez Al-Shaair, Colton McKivitz, Jordan Willis

NOVEMBER 11: The 49ers will be the first team to push up against the NFL’s new IR activation ceiling. They plan to activate Mitchell, Al-Shaair, McKivitz and defensive end Jordan Willis from IR, Kyle Shanahan said Friday, via NBC Sports Bay Area’s Matt Maiocco (on Twitter).

With San Francisco having already used three of its injury activations — including one on Jason Verrett, who has since suffered another Achilles tear — the team will have one remaining beyond Week 10. Friday’s decision stands to affect how San Francisco manages its IR list going forward, as starting defensive tackle Javon Kinlaw is also on IR. Kinlaw is slated to return at some point this season, Shanahan said (via The Athletic’s Matt Barrows, on Twitter).

While the IR ramifications of Friday’s move will be interesting to monitor down the road, the team will have a host of key contributors back following its bye week.

NOVEMBER 7: Injuries and a rather notable trade defined the first half of the 49ers’ season, but the contending team will have some reinforcements available soon.

The 49ers designated running back Elijah Mitchell, linebacker Azeez Al-Shaair and backup tackle Colton McKivitz for return from IR on Monday. Each member of this trio is in the final stages of rehab from an MCL sprain. Of the three, Al-Shaair may be closest to returning. The fourth-year linebacker categorized himself as a bit ahead of schedule and expects to play against the Chargers on Sunday night, via ESPN.com’s Nick Wagoner (on Twitter).

San Francisco has already used three of its injury activations this season, so some more complex navigation may begin to come into play here. Under the NFL’s new IR-return system, teams are allotted eight activations per season. It is safe to assume Mitchell and Al-Shaair will be back, with the former set to complement Christian McCaffrey and the latter the team’s No. 3 linebacker behind Fred Warner and Dre Greenlaw. It will be interesting to see if the 49ers activate McKivitz, who is the swingman behind Trent Williams and Mike McGlinchey, or gives him the full three-week timetable partially to gauge how its injury situation looks later in November.

Mitchell began the season as San Francisco’s starting back but did not make it through Week 1. The 49ers found a talented player in last year’s sixth round, moving Mitchell past third-rounder Trey Sermon on their depth chart from the jump. The Louisiana product totaled 963 rushing yards in just 11 games as a rookie but has battled extensive injury trouble as a pro. Shoulder, rib, finger and knee injuries led to Mitchell missing six games last season.

After trading Jeff Wilson to the Dolphins, however, the 49ers are thinner at running back. Mitchell returning would help the cause. Third-round rookie Tyrion Davis-Price, who was not placed on IR following his high ankle sprain, should be expected to factor into the newly McCaffrey-headlined backfield equation soon as well.

Al-Shaair is in a contract year and saw the 49ers lock down Greenlaw. With Warner signed long term, Al-Shaair could be auditioning for other team’s during this season’s second half. He started 13 games last season but has been out since Week 3 this year. McKivitz started one game in place of Williams this year but went down with his knee injury. The former fifth-round pick is signed through 2023.

49ers’ Deebo Samuel Out For Week 8; Kyle Juszczyk Undergoes Surgery

In the second game during which the 49ers will have their new No. 1 running back available, they will be shorthanded in their receiving corps. The team ruled out Deebo Samuel for their Week 8 game against the Rams, as a result of a hamstring injury.

This will be Samuel’s first missed contest of the year, one in which expectations were sky-high. His All-Pro performance in 2021 – during which he posted 1,405 receiving yards and eight rushing touchdowns – led to a dramatic spike in his perceived free agent value. Extension eligible for the first time this offseason, a lack of traction in contract talks led the 26-year-old to request a trade in April.

The situation ultimately resulted in a deal being struck at the end of July, though, with Samuel set to average nearly $24MM per season. So far in 2022, the final year of his rookie contract, the South Carolina product has once again been featured both in the air and on the ground. Samuel ranks second on the team in receiving (387) and rushing (138) yards.

Another key member of the 49ers’ offense will be absent today. Fullback Kyle Juszczyk had surgery to repair a broken finger earlier this week, as noted (on Twitter) by Eric Branch of the San Francisco Chronicle. The 31-year-old had played in every contest so far this year, after having done the same in 2020 and 2021. Those campaigns extended his Pro Bowl streak to six years, meaning his absence will be felt as the team tries to further implement trade acquisition Christian McCaffrey into their offense.

Among the notable defensive players who will be sidelined is Dre Greenlaw. He, too will miss his first contest of the season – ending a welcomed run of availability after he was limited to just three games last season. He is dealing with a calf injury, something which will leave San Francisco’s linebacking corps shorthanded. Greenlaw had played every defensive snap in five games this season, cementing his status as a key member of the unit after agreeing to a two-year extension last month.

The 3-4 49ers will look to rebound from last week’s loss to the Chiefs and attempt to gain ground in the wide-open NFC West against the defending champions.

49ers, LB Dre Greenlaw Agree To Extension

Prior to the 49ers’ game yesterday, the team finalized an extension with one of their ascending defenders. Linebacker Dre Greenlaw has signed a two-year extension worth nearly $19MM, and with $10MM in guaranteed money (Twitter link via Ian Rapoport of NFL Network). 

[RELATED: 49ers QB Lance To Undergo Season-Ending Ankle Surgery]

The 2019 fifth-rounder quickly emerged as a starter during his first two seasons in the Bay Area. He racked up 178 tackles, two sacks, three pass breakups and an interception over that span. His production made him an effective compliment to Fred Warner in the team’s linebacking corps, and led to heightened expectations going into last season.

A groin injury suffered in Week 1 required surgery and limited Greenlaw to just three games, however. Back to full health now, the 25-year-old has played every defensive snap in each of the team’s first two contests, making 13 stops and two tackles for loss. That bodes well for his prospects in 2022, and made the team’s decision to extend him a logical one.

Greenlaw will play out the final year of his rookie contract this season. Once the extension kicks in, his roughly $9.5MM AAV will rank in the top 15 in the league amongst middle linebackers. It will add significantly to San Francisco’s second-level investment, of course, with Warner already averaging just over $19MM per season on his 2021 mega-deal.

Greenlaw and the 49ers’ vaunted front seven will look to build off of their dominant performance yesterday and try to stabilize the team as it transitions back to Jimmy Garoppolo at quarterback for the rest of the year. Regardless of how smoothly that goes, Greenlaw will be on the books through 2024.

NFC West Rumors: Seahawks OL, Jackson, Greenlaw, Humphries

With Brandon Shell departing in free agency and Duane Brown and Ethan Pocic now rostered with the Jets and Browns, respectively, the Seahawks have had a bit of work this offseason piecing their offensive line back together. Seattle may even be in the extremely rare position of bookending their offensive line with two rookie tackles, according to Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times.

While Charles Cross has long been expected to start for the Seahawks on the blindside as the No. 9 overall pick in the draft, it appears that third-round pick Abraham Lucas is currently favored to man the tackle spot opposite Cross. The most recent instance of this in the NFL that I could find is back in 2012 when the Cardinals were forced to start seventh-round pick Nate Potter across from fourth-round pick Bobby Massie late in the season. That was a result of some injuries, though. The last time a team started the season with two rookie offensive tackles, I believe, was in 2009 when Jacksonville trotted out in Week 1 with first-round pick Eugene Monroe at left tackle and second-round pick Eben Britton at right tackle.

Additionally, while the Seahawks return Gabe Jackson and Damien Lewis as the starting guards from last year, backup guard Phil Haynes has reportedly been pushing both for playing time this offseason. According to a tweet from ESPN’s Brady Henderson, head coach Pete Carroll had plenty of good things to say about Haynes.

“Phil could start. He plays like a starter,” Carroll extolled. He looks like a starter out there and he’s pushing Gabe, he really is. He’s our guy that’s swinging right and left side right now. If he had to start for either guy right now, I would feel absolutely comfortable…I feel like we’ve got three starting guards right now that we could play and be fine with.”

Here are a few other rumors from around the NFC West, starting with a couple rumors from the Bay Area:

  • The 49ers used a second-round pick this year to select Drake Jackson, a big-bodied defensive end out of USC. But they are determined not to limit Jackson to the outside of the line, according to Matt Barrows of The Athletic. San Francisco has been lining Jackson up all over the defensive line this offseason, placing him not only on both ends but at defensive tackle, as well.
  • When the 49ers rush an extra defensive back on the field in passing situations, one of their three starting linebackers is going to have to come off the field. When asked which starting linebacker would stay on the field with Fred Warner in those situations, Barrows posited that it had to be Dre Greenlaw. Barrows went on to say that the only way Azeez Al-Shaair would take hold over the No. 2 linebacker spot in San Francisco is if Greenlaw is injured.
  • Cardinals offensive tackle D.J. Humphries recently signed a three-year, $51.76MM extension. According to Aaron Wilson of Pro Football Network, the deal has a guaranteed amount of $32.82MM consisting of a $17MM signing bonus, the 2022 salary of $3.82MM, $4MM of the 2023 salary, and the 2023 roster bonus of $8.24MM. Additionally, the 28-year-old tackle can earn a per game active bonus of $14,117 for a potential season total of $240,000.

49ers Rumors: Al-Shaair, Garoppolo, DBs

This will be a key year for Azeez Al-Shaair. The fourth-year linebacker is less than a year away from a possible free agency bid, and he may have an opportunity to join Fred Warner as a three-down ‘backer. With Dre Greenlaw missing much of last season due to injury, Al-Shaair stepped in as a full-timer. This season figures to determine which contract-year linebacker — Greenlaw or Al-Shaair — the 49ers aim to keep. The one that ends up playing less figures to be the cheaper option, with Matt Barrows of The Athletic noting that might be the player San Francisco attempts to retain (subscription required). Such a strategy would mesh better with Warner, who is tied to a top-market off-ball linebacker deal. A 2019 UDFA out of Florida Atlantic, Al-Shaair registered 102 tackles (nine for loss), two sacks, two fumble recoveries and an interception in 13 games last season — his first as a full-timer. Al-Shaair, however, is recovering from offseason knee and shoulder surgeries, Matt Maiocco of NBC Sports Bay Area tweets. The team is targeting a training camp return for Al-Shaair.

Here is the latest out of San Francisco:

  • New 49ers quarterbacks coach Brian Griese has dealt exclusively with the quarterbacks who have attended the team’s offseason program. He has not communicated with Jimmy Garoppolo since taking over, via Maiocco (on Twitter). While Garoppolo will surely still have a good grip on Kyle Shanahan‘s offense, this does mark another sign the franchise remains intent on finding a trade. Dealing Garoppolo is not a guarantee, but it has long been the team’s goal.
  • Elijah Mitchell made a surprise ascent early last season, leapfrogging third-round pick Trey Sermon and finishing with 963 rushing yards in just 11 games. The 49ers added another third-round back this year, in LSU’s Tyrion Davis-Price, and have a new running backs coach in Anthony Lynn. The team still views Mitchell as its top backfield option, according to ESPN.com’s Nick Wagoner, who adds the incumbent plans to be roughly 15 pounds heavier than he was last season. The 2021 sixth-round pick, who missed a chunk of the season due to multiple injuries, played at around 200 pounds as a rookie.
  • K’Waun Williams operated as the 49ers’ slot cornerback for five years, signing multiple contracts to stay in that role. But the veteran defected to the Broncos in free agency this year. Veteran Darqueze Dennard could benefit. Despite being a January practice squad addition, Dennard resides as the top slot option for San Francisco as of OTAs, Barrows adds (subscription required). Fifth-round pick Samuel Womack may be Dennard’s top challenger, per Barrows. Although Dennard played in just two regular-season games last year (one as a Giant, one as a 49er), he spent several years as the Bengals’ primary slot defender. This will be the former first-rounder’s age-31 season.
  • Jaquiski Tartt is not expected back with the 49ers this year. As of OTAs, Talanoa Hufanga and Tarvarius Moore reside as the top options to replace him, Barrows notes. Hufanga received the first crack at the strong safety job this week, according to Eric Branch of the San Francisco Chronicle. Moore’s contract tolled from 2021, a season he missed due to a torn Achilles suffered during the 49ers’ 2021 offseason program. The 49ers drafted Hufanga in last year’s fifth round; he started three games as a rookie. The team also signed ex-Colt safety George Odum this offseason.

49ers Rule Out Deebo Samuel, Dre Greenlaw For Week 13

As expected, Deebo Samuel will not play for the 49ers in Week 13. The third-year wide receiver suffered a groin strain and could miss multiple games. San Francisco’s linebacking corps will be shorthanded as well.

Dre Greenlaw, who returned from a lengthy IR stay last week, is back among the 49ers’ inactives. The team ruled out its third-year linebacker starter because of a groin injury.

Samuel has been prone to injuries as a pro. He missed the start of last season because of a Jones fracture in his foot. After returning, the former second-round pick suffered a hamstring injury that led to the then-malady-riddled 49ers shutting him down for the rest of the season.

Sunday will mark Samuel’s 11th missed game as a 49er, though the Pro Bowl-bound talent said during an appearance on CBS Sports HQ this week (via 49ers Webzone) he has no doubt he will be back for Week 14. Through 11 games, Samuel has already cleared 1,000 receiving yards for the first time and has tacked on 203 rushing yards.

This will be Greenlaw’s 10th missed game this season. The 49ers are also likely to be without Fred Warner on their defensive second level. The All-Pro suffered a hamstring strain during San Francisco’s win over Minnesota, and he is doubtful to play Sunday in Seattle. This leaves Azeez Al-Shaair as the 49ers’ lone healthy starter at linebacker.

Additionally, Kyle Shanahan said Dee Ford is unlikely to be activated off IR ahead of Sunday’s game, via the San Francisco Chronicle’s Eric Branch. The 49ers designated Ford for return on Nov. 25. He has three weeks from that date to come back. Should Ford’s ramp-up period not include an activation by Dec. 16, he would spend the rest of the season on IR. Ford is attempting to play through a back injury Shanahan has acknowledged will likely plague the oft-injured pass rusher for the rest of his career and beyond.