Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee held an online chat with fans today and was asked if linebacker Aaron Lynch has been around the team during his four-game suspension and what kind of shape he is in.
"Yes, he's been around the team, working out, etc," Barrows said. "He's in noticeably better shape than he was a month ago. Does that mean he's in tip-top shape? No, but he seems to be on his way."
Lynch is two games into a suspension for violating league policy on substances of abuse. Lynch, who is in his third season in the league, was already considered to be the team's best pass rusher and losing him was a big loss for the 49ers defense. Lynch won't be available until the 49ers' October 6 Thursday night home game against the Arizona Cardinals. He will miss this weekend's game against the Seattle Seahawks and then next weekend against the Dallas Cowboys.
"I think if he's in top shape, he's the 49ers' best edge rusher. Now is he Von Miller? No," Barrows continued while answering a fan that felt that Lynch was somewhat over-rated. "The best teams have two good pass rushers collapsing the pocket from the edges. Lynch can do that but would be better if there's someone as good or better on the other side. The 49ers don't have that right now."
"According to the NFL's policy on substances of abuse, a player who has a violation while within Stage Two of the program is subject to a four-game suspension without pay," explained Matt Maiocco of CSN Bay Area. "A second violation while in Stage Two would result in a six-game suspension."
Last season, Lynch had 6.5 sacks last season through 14 games, tying with fellow outside linebacker Ahmad Brooks, and accounted for nearly a quarter of the team's sack total. That was a big jump from the 16-percent he accounted for during his rookie campaign. He has 12.5 sacks in his two competed seasons with the 49ers.