Can this be true 49ers’ Greenlaw could begin season on PUP list

The San Francisco 49ers may have to begin the
regular season without one of their star defenders in the lineup.

Niners linebacker Dre Greenlaw recently revealed that he’s still on the mend after tearing his Achilles in the second quarter of San Francisco’s Super Bowl LVIII loss to the Kansas City Chiefs in February.

“It’s a long, slow process, I’m feeling really, really good though,” Greenlaw said earlier in the week at a fundraising event, according to NBC Sports Bay Area’s Jordan Elliott.

“I’m happy to be able to walk on the stage, actually. It’s been about three months since the injury; I just recently got out of the (walking) boot. Just slowly every day rehabbing, getting the strength, getting the mobility, and doing whatever it takes to get on the field as soon as possible.”

The 49ers prepared for Greenlaw to potentially miss the start of the 2024 campaign as he continues his rehab, signing linebacker De’Vondre Campbell to a one-year contract in March. General manager John Lynch said adding the veteran serves as an insurance policy if Greenlaw isn’t ready to take the field in September.

“(Greenlaw) will tell you he’s going to be back Week 1, but we have to be smart,” Lynch said, per the San Francisco Chronicle’s Eric Branch. “That may be a PUP situation. De’Vondre gives us an opportunity to fill in for Dre if he’s not there.”

The timeline to recover from a torn Achilles is typically 9-12 months. If placed on the PUP list, Greenlaw would miss at least the first four games of the regular season.

Issues with both Achilles hampered Greenlaw during the 2023 campaign. He said he played through pain in his right Achilles for about six weeks before the Super Bowl.

Greenlaw, an instrumental member of the Niners’ defense, finished second on the team with 120 tackles last season behind All-Pro Fred Warner. The 26-year-old also recorded 18 tackles and two interceptions in the team’s postseason run to Super Bowl LVIII.