49ers’ Javon Kinlaw Gives Telling Update on Knee Recovery

Javon Kinlaw

Getty Javon Kinlaw runs out of the tunnel before a 49ers' home game on September 26, 2021.

Javon Kinlaw didn’t get the chance to show his first-round potential during the San Francisco 49ers‘ pursuit of the NFC title this past season, as the former top-15 pick was limited to four games.

A torn ACL was the reason behind Kinlaw’s truncated season.

The lack of having the towering and powerful 6-foot-5, 319-pounder inside left the 49ers to slide Arik Armstead to his vacated spot in the effort to control the “B” gap. The 49ers still managed to produce one of the league’s best defenses featuring stout trench play that led to their appearance in the NFC title game this past season.

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But is Kinlaw on track to return? Let alone provide the trench impact the 49ers expected from him when they took him No. 14 overall in the 2020 NFL draft to replace DeForest Buckner?

Kinlaw’s interview with Brad Graham of The SFNiners on Thursday, March 23 helped answer those questions.

Kinlaw Wants to ‘Really Showcase’ What he’s Capable of When Healthy

Kinlaw dove straight into his knee update with Graham.

“I’m feeling amazing,” Kinlaw told Graham. “Really, honest, I’ve had nothing but ups, no downs. Knock on wood. Everything has been progressing the right way. As far as from a health standpoint, I already feel healthier than I was last year when I was on the field, so I’m just excited to really get back out there and just be able to really showcase what a healthy Javon Kinlaw can do for this organization.”

Kinlaw was last seen on October 10, 2021 down in Glendale, Arizona. He delivered one quarterback hit and one assisted tackle versus the Arizona Cardinals before his entire season was wiped away.

Before his injury, Kinlaw squeezed in eight tackles, one solo stop and the QB hit in four starts — far different from his rookie season that saw 33 tackles, 15 solo stops, three stops for a loss and 1.5 sacks in showing samples of what he can do across the line of scrimmage. But arguably his best highlight came on November 29, 2020 against the Los Angeles Rams:

Kinlaw Shares Rehab Process

Kinlaw told Graham that he was dealing with a lot of fluid in his injured knee.

“I just kept having a lot of fluid build up in my knee every week,” Kinlaw explained. “We would go in, try to work on it, get it flushed out. It just wouldn’t respond the right way. Honestly, I did everything I could. Anybody would tell you that. I did everything I could to put myself into position to play but I just couldn’t. I played hurt for so long, I was used to it. But it got to the point where I couldn’t really go out there anymore.”

As part of the rehab process, Kinlaw got to focus on single-leg exercises and hip flexibility workouts to get on the road to recovery.

“All in all, the rehab process has been cool,” Kinlaw said. “The little things I’ve been working on, a lot of single-leg things, just a lot of bending, that type of stuff.”

How are things now with his knee and hip?

“I already got way more knee (flexibility) than I ever had in my life. Hip flexibility — I’ve got more hip flexibility than I ever had in my life (too),” Kinlaw said. “The things that I do now, I’ve probably never been able to do in my life, so it’s just really exciting.”

The entire segment can be seen below.

49ers Javon Kinlaw LiveTalking with 49ers DT Javon Kinlaw2022-03-23T23:12:30Z
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