The defensive side of the ball for the San Francisco 49ers is growing more and more depleted by the day.
On Thursday, September 16, the team announced that outside linebacker and starter Dre Greenlaw could miss up to half the season with a groin injury that will require surgery. Greenlaw is expected to be under the knife by Friday, at the latest.
NFL Network’s insider Ian Rapoport took to Twitter to provide more details on the injury, as well as the pending procedure.
“#49ers LB Dre Greenlaw will see @DrWilliamMyers today and plans to have surgery either today or tomorrow, source said,” Rapoport tweeted on Thursday. “He’s out 6-8 weeks after the core muscle procedure.”
Greenlaw suffered the injury during the Niners’ season opener against the Detroit Lions on Sunday, September 12. It took place on a play, during which Greenlaw intercepted just the second pass of his career and returned it for his first touchdown as an NFL player.
Greenlaw Second Niners Player Headed For Surgery This Week
Greenlaw is far from the only injured member of the Niners’ defense, and he’s not even the only San Francisco starter to announce season-disrupting and/or -ending surgery this week.
Running back Raheem Mostert carried the ball just twice against the Lions, gaining a total of 20 yards, before he was knocked out with torn cartilage in his knee. Just two days later, Mostert told the world he would be out for the remainder of the 2021 season.
The disheartened running back to to Twitter with the following message:
After consulting with multiple doctors and weighing my options, I will be having season ending surgery to repair my knee.
This gives me, without a doubt in my mind, the best possibility at coming back 110%. I have ALWAYS come back stronger and I will this time too! I have faith in myself, my doctors, my support system, my team, and God. He makes no mistakes.
I’m gutted. This sucks! This is obviously not what I worked so hard for. I wish more than anything I could be out there on the field with my brothers!!!
I’M FAR FROM DONE!
Mostert, now a seven-year veteran, is on the last year of his contract with the 49ers. While at this point only pure speculation, the hit he took in Detroit could spell the end of the running back’s time with San Francisco considering the Niners’ young, inexpensive stable of backs, all of whom have less of an injury history than does Mostert.
Greenlaw, on the other hand, who is in the third year of his rookie deal, should return to the field sometime this year barring any unforeseen setbacks.
Replacing Greenlaw Will Push a Thin Niners’ Linebacker Group
Azeez Al-Shaair, the Niners’ starting Sam linebacker on the strong side, is likely to move to the other side of the field and fill the Will (weak side) role typically occupied by Greenlaw.
That would mean that Demetrius Flannigan-Fowles most likely moves into the starting spot at the Sam linebacker position.
Marcell Harris remains on the Niners’ depth chart at linebacker, though he is listed as questionable with a moderate injury to his oblique. Nathan Gerry — formerly of the Philadelphia Eagles, who the Niners will play on Sunday — is the only linebacker currently listed on San Francisco’s practice squad.