The San Francisco 49ers are in the process of receiving some needed linebacker help, in the form of an old NFC West adversary who was briefly with the ‘Niners before getting released.
Mychal Kendricks, who spent the 2018 to 2020 season with the Seattle Seahawks and had a brief stint with the Washington Football Team after his Seattle stay, is anticipated to sign with the 49ers, first reported on the morning of Monday, October 18, by Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network.
ALL the latest 49ers news straight to your inbox! Join the Heavy on 49ers newsletter here!
Rapoport added that the 31-year-old Kendricks was at the 49ers’ facility in Santa Clara, California during the Monday morning hours.
The move not only lures the Fresno, California native to the Bay Area, but Kendricks returns to the region where he starred at linebacker in the East Bay at the University of California from 2008 to 2011.
Kendrick’s Second Chance with the 49ers
For Kendricks, this will be a second shot with the 49ers.
The 5-foot-11, 242-pounder did take part in the team’s training camp in August. He signed a one-year deal with the franchise on August 16, via the team’s website.
However, he got placed on injured reserve on August 24. The ‘Niners eventually released Kendricks on September 2.
Kendricks’ Last NFC West run
Kendricks had a three season stay in the Pacific Northwest while facing the 49ers twice a year.
According to Pro Football Reference, Kendricks started in 17 of 18 games played with the ‘Hawks. He snatched 90 total tackles including 62 solo stops and produced 12 tackles for a loss. He also added five sacks and one interception, which came in the 2019 season.
That ’19 year was the one season Kendricks saw his most action in Seahawks attire, playing and starting in 14 regular season games. In two contests versus the 49ers, Kendricks reached four tackles as both teams split the season series that year.
He did not play against S.F. in the 2018 season due to serving a suspension and getting placed on injured reserve for the second meeting between the two.
The Current State of the 49ers’ LB Room
As of Week 5, the 49ers have 11 players out who are dealing with injuries or non-injury related stuff.
Two are defenders listed as questionable: Samson Ebukam and Javon Kinlaw.
While the LB unit hasn’t dealt with a myriad of injuries like the other skill position groups, this unit has been hindered by inconsistency.
In his “Efficiency Report” on Monday, The Athletic’s David Lombardi wrote this group isn’t anything like past 49er LB units.
“From the very jump, the 49ers’ play here has not been as good as it was in 2019 and 2020,” was Lombardi’s first sentence. “Dre Greenlaw owns the position group’s lone big highlight, a pick six in the season opener at Detroit, but he’s been out ever since with a core muscle injury.”
Lombardi also pointed out how Fred Warner, Azeez Al-Shaair and Demetrius Flannigan-Fowles has seen a decline in their coverage and tackling efficiency. Via Pro Football Reference, Warner has a missed tackle percentage of 8.2% which is different from his 5.3% of 2020. Greenlaw’s missed tackle percentage, however, sits at 14.3% while Al-Shaair and Flannigan-Fowles stand at 14.6 and 20%, respectively.
Should Kendricks play, he can surely help limit the missed tackles given his ability to wrap up in his nine-year NFL career. Kendricks has 548 total stops including 404 solo tackles during his stints with the Philadelphia Eagles and Seahawks.