Kwon Alexander’s outlook was not good at first. The outside linebacker for the San Francisco 49ers tore his pectoral muscle on October 31 against the Arizona Cardinals, and he went on the injured reserve list, not playing since.
He had surgery to repair the torn pec immediately, and he shared a video of himself via Instagram from his hospital bed post-surgery, promising fans he was set to return to “attack mode” immediately. He sure wasn’t joking.
After missing the final eight games of the season, Alexander began practicing with the team last week, and head coach Kyle Shanahan said Thursday that the team would activate their star linebacker Friday, prior to the 49ers Divisional Round contest against the Vikings.
So Alexander will unquestionable play against the Vikings. But how much will he see the field?
Kwon Alexander Will Play vs Vikings, Could See Limited Snaps
Alexander suffered the same pectoral injury as Texans superstar J.J. Watt, who returned much sooner than expected, and ended up having a huge impact on the Texans’ playoff game, making the key third quarter sack that sparked Houston’s comeback win. Watt’s snaps were limited at first, but as the game progressed, his snaps increased, as did his impact.
It’s very likely that Alexander will be limited in a similar fashion, but whether his body holds up as well as Watt’s did will be something to watch this weekend against Minnesota. Alexander actually spoke to Watt recently, and it seems as though he can’t help but be inspired by Watt’s comeback.
“I talked to him,” Alexander said of Watt. “I’m happy to see him back … He lifted me up, too, a little bit. I appreciate him.” The Niners OLB spoke very highly of Watt, also noting how anxious he was to get back out on the field.
“He went out there and made some big plays and I can’t wait to get out there myself and just to get that feeling back again. Top off to J.J., man,” Alexander said about Watt. “Knowing him, I already know he’s feeling legendary. He’s a great player. He works hard so knowing him, going back out there was easy for him.”
Watt’s effort and energy clearly provided a spark for his team. Whether Alexander will have the same impact on the 49ers remains to be seen.