John Lynch: Dre Greenlaw tore left Achilles, not one that kept him out Week 18

Feb 29, 2024, 11:00 AM | Updated: 3:48 pm

Dre Greenlaw #57 of the San Francisco 49ers leaves the field during the second quarter against the ...

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - FEBRUARY 11: Dre Greenlaw #57 of the San Francisco 49ers leaves the field during the second quarter against the Kansas City Chiefs during Super Bowl LVIII at Allegiant Stadium on February 11, 2024 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

(Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

The offseason is a time for news about the previous season to come to light, with the 49ers and its fanbase still learning the extent of the injury sustained by Dre Greenlaw.

San Francisco 49ers general manager John Lynch revealed at the NFL Scouting Combine that Dre Greenlaw did indeed rupture his Achilles tendon. However, the ligament he tore was in his left leg, not the right Achilles which landed him on the inactive list for Week 18 of the regular season.

The GM provided an update on his the procedure went and some of the emotions that followed in the aftermath of Super Bowl LVIII.

“Tim McAdams did the surgery and it went very well,” Lynch told Jennifer Lee Chan of NBC Sports Bay Area. “I know it was a gut punch when it happened. Understanding what just happened, we’re not even on the field. Then looking up at the screen just like it was for our entire fan base and for football fans in general.

“Your heart goes out to Dre, because he puts so much into it and he lives for the big moments and to not be able to compete, it killed him and it hurts us because he’s a great player.”

Dre Greenlaw, 26, has been rock solid next to All-Pro Fred Warner, becoming one of the best linebacker tandems in the NFL. The Arkansas native finished the 2023 season with 120 combined tackles, four quarterback hits and 1.5 sacks. His play elevated in the postseason as well, securing two game-changing interceptions in the 49ers’ divisional-round playoff win over the Green Bay Packers.

Greenlaw was replaced by backup Oren Burks in the second half of the game.

While his understudy played admirably, it was still a drop-off production that allowed Kansas City to get back in the game. Even still, Lynch was proud of Burks and the rest of his team, understanding the toll of an in-game loss can have on a unit.

“Oren Burks went in and did a really nice job, Greenlaw is a difference maker though,” Lynch stated. “That hurt us but it’s part of the game and of course, you question, why do things like that happen?

“I don’t know why when he jumped up and went to run on the field that happened, but it did, and I know Dre will respond in a great fashion and attack his rehab with a vigor that he approaches everything with.”

Dre Greenlaw is entering the final year of his current deal, expected to make a full recovery. While it’s too early to pinpoint a return date, some doctors speculate he could be ready by the beginning of the 2024 regular season.

Key offseason dates for the San Francisco 49ers

  • Thursday, Feb. 29th – NFL Combine testing begins
  • Thursday, March 13 – The 2024 free agency signing period begins at 1 p.m. PST

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John Lynch: Dre Greenlaw tore left Achilles, not one that kept him out Week 18