San Francisco 49ers defensive tackle and 2020 first-round draft pick Javon Kinlaw will miss the remainder of the 2021 season. Kinlaw has not appeared since the Niners’ Week 5 loss to the Arizona Cardinals when he exited with a knee injury. Kinlaw announced Friday that he had received knee surgery and would be out indefinitely. Kinlaw’s injury is the latest disappointment in what has been a season of letdowns for San Francisco.
Javon Kinlaw Injury Means He Will Miss Rest of the 2021 Season
Kinlaw garnered tempered expectations for 2021 after a modest rookie campaign. But the South Carolina product had been a relatively impotent presence on the defensive front through the early stages of the season. In his four games, he did not account for a single sack or tackle for loss. The Niners envisioned Kinlaw as a sort-of sidekick to Nick Bosa who would enhance an already-elite defensive unit. Thus far, his tenure in the Bay Area has fallen short of such expectations. Kinlaw had been something of an x-factor entering the season and regressed instead of taking a second-year leap.
This week the 49ers have a must-win matchup with the lowly Chicago Bears. A defeat would likely spell doom for the Niners’ postseason contention. The Bears will be without head coach Matt Nagy and their defensive centerpiece, Khalil Mack. Kyle Shanahan recently reaffirmed Jimmy Garoppolo’s status as the team’s starter, albeit with a less-than-ringing endorsement. Trey Lance will be available and may appear in brief intervals. George Kittle will remain unavailable. Kittle has yet to amass 100 receiving yards and still awaits his first touchdown of the season. His 56.8 receiving yards per game thus far marks his lowest total since his rookie season. A rematch against the 7-1 Cardinals awaits the 49ers one week later.