Against the Jaguars, the Niners are expected to field two defensive starters.
The defense of the San Francisco 49ers is about to get a lot healthier and deeper.
According to the NFL’s official personnel notice issued Wednesday, November 17, linebacker Dre Greenlaw and strong safety Jaquiski Tartt are expected to return from the injured reserve list (IR).
The designation for the two defensive starters does not guarantee a return to game action against the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday, but it does indicate that the team has opened their practice windows and that each of them could return to the field as soon as this weekend.
While on injured reserve, LB Greenlaw could lose his job.
Greenlaw intercepted a pass in Week 1 against the Detroit Lions and returned it for a touchdown, but the celebration was short-lived.
On that play, the linebacker injured his groin, which required surgery to repair shortly after.
He was expected to be out for six to eight weeks at first.
Greenlaw may be relegated to a supporting role for the time being, even if he shows he is game ready by Sunday.
The reason for this has been linebacker Azeez Al-Shaair’s outstanding play since Greenlaw’s departure.
Kyle Shanahan, the Niners’ head coach, addressed the situation on Wednesday.
“I think Greenlaw has done an outstanding job for us throughout his career, and he’s just getting back into practice for the first time in a long time,” Shanahan said.
“As a result of what Azeez has done, I believe it will be difficult to unseat Azeez right away.”
Greenlaw may have to wait a long time to pass him up again because he’s played at a high level.”
Tartt, a safety, may have to share playing time with a rookie standout.
Tartt is in a similar situation to Greenlaw, having been placed on the IR three weeks ago with a knee injury.
Talanoa Hufanga, a rookie strong safety, took his place in the starting lineup.
Shanahan has been looking forward to playing Hufanga all season.
Tartt appears to have a better line against the Jags than Greenlaw, based on Shanahan’s comments.
“Huff is one of my favorite characters.
I believe he has performed admirably.
Tartt is not guaranteed to start.
That is not the case…
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