Kyle Shanahan says 49ers rookie DT Kalia Davis has ‘a chance’ to play this season

Dec 20, 2022, 2:05 PM | Updated: 2:05 pm
Head Coach Kyle Shanahan of the San Francisco 49ers addresses the team in the locker room after the...
SEATTLE, WA - DECEMBER 15: Head Coach Kyle Shanahan of the San Francisco 49ers addresses the team in the locker room after the game against the Seattle Seahawks at Lumen Field on December 15, 2022 in Seattle, Washington. The 49ers defeated the Seahawks 21-13. (Photo by Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images)
(Photo by Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images)

Less than a week after clinching the NFC west title, the San Francisco 49ers are looking to get even stronger down the stretch run of the regular season.

Head coach Kyle Shanahan confirmed Tuesday that defensive tackles Kalia Davis (knee) and Javon Kinlaw (knee) would have their 21-day practice windows open for returning to the field this season. While the two play the same position, their paths back to gameday are a little more different.

First the rookie, DT Kalia Davis.

Davis has been on Non-Football Injury List since the start of the season receiving from an ACL tear he suffered in college. A sixth-round pick out of Central Florida, the rookie could return to field at some point in the next 21 days.

“He has a chance [to return this season],” Kyle Shanahan stated Tuesday.

Originally thought to be out for the entirety of the 2022 season, Davis could be some needed interior help after DL Hassan Ridgeway suffered a pec strain. It’s still too early to say if he will see playing time heading into the playoffs, officially undergoing his first practice of his professional career Tuesday afternoon.

“This is his first time getting out there. So I’m not trying to put all that pressure on him but we’d like to see him [out there],” Shanahan added. “You know, he didn’t get to compete with us here in the offseason, so we’ll open his three-week window today and he’ll get a chance to go out there and hopefully get in some football shape and show us what he can do.”

A standout defensive lineman in the AAC, Davis finished his colligate career with 61 total tackles and four sacks. If he was to return this season, it would not count against the 49ers’ eight-allowed injured reserve designations for return.

Meanwhile, DT Javon Kinlaw will also have his practice window open this week.

The South Carolina standout has been suffering from a knee condition in his surgically-repaired ACL for the better part of the season, placed on the IR after Week 4. Hinting at his return the past few weeks, the 49ers will need him to step up once he’s 100% healthy. Feeling ready to go as ever, the organization only hopes that their player’s body can hold up for the postseason.

“I mean there’s a high level that he can play, but that’s the whole thing with what he’s been going through with his knee,” Kyle Shanahan explained. It’s ‘can he do it without a flaring up and having setbacks on it?’ And that’s why we’ve been very patient in the rehab and everything. He’s been extremely consistent with it and we’ve been able to do it for a while here without any setbacks, and we’ve done as much as we can. The only thing left for him to do is put pads on and go out there and play. So there’s always a risk of it, but we’re at the point, he’s at the point where it’s time to find out.”

The plan for Kinlaw is have a heavy workout Tuesday, returning to the practice field Wednesday for the team’s heaviest day of work. His return would cost the 49ers one of their final two designations this season.

San Francisco also has a plan for injured offensive weapon Deebo Samuel, seen as week-to-week after suffering an MCL and ankle sprain during Week 14’s clash with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. If the team were in more dire circumstances, they would look to bring him back into the fold this week. Since the division is already wrapped up, the Red & Gold will sit the wideout for another week, hoping he can return to full strength in time for the playoffs.

“Yeah, week-to-week. I think this week, maybe there’d be a chance like if we were that desperate, so I’m not even looking into it this week. And we’ll see how he is next Monday and make that same decision,” Shanahan said.

49ers Practice Report:

Not Practicing: 

QB Jimmy Garoppolo

DT Kevin Givens

DL Kerry Hyder Jr.

WR Deebo Samuel


DL Arik Armstead

RB Christian McCaffrey

S Tarvarius Moore

QB Brock Purdy

CB Ambry Thomas

CB Charvarius Ward

Click here to watch Kyle Shanahan’s full presser


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