October 18, 2021

49ers Javon Kinlaw, who previously said he has no injury, might miss Lions game with knee injury – SFGate


Javon Kinlaw was drafted with the expectation that he’d be battling opposing offensive lineman as part of an elite defensive front. Entering year two of his pro career, that hasn’t exactly come to fruition, as most of his battles have come against his own knee.

San Francisco 49ers general manager John Lynch told KNBR on Friday that Kinlaw’s status is up in the air for Sunday’s Week 1 matchup against the Detroit Lions. The defensive tackle’s knee was injured during a game against the Dallas Cowboys last year and has swelled up on occasion since, Lynch said. Attempts to “quiet” those flare-ups lately haven’t been too successful, thus the player’s questionable status.

While a football player dealing with injuries isn’t anything new, what makes Kinlaw’s status unique is that this was an issue that was discussed in the lead up to the 2020 NFL Draft. Experts, along with our own Eric Ting, flagged Kinlaw’s unspecified knee troubles, which kept him out of the Senior Bowl and Scouting Combine and were always a cause for concern.

During training camp this offseason, Kinlaw was kept out of a practice for precautionary reasons, and had just received treatment for a flare-up. At the time, Kinlaw posted on his Instagram storyx, “I have no injury.” Perhaps it was him just being defensive because he knows the narratives surrounding his body, but either way, it’s one of those situations where the statement ended up drawing more attention to the issue than he probably wanted. And now we’re here, where he might miss the Lions games because of his knee.

Of course, it’s worth pointing out that this is potentially just one week of missed action. Lynch was optimistic about Kinlaw suiting up for the Niners this season, saying that the team feels “confident we’ll get good football from Javon.”