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Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

49ers plan to play both Fred Warner and Kwon Alexander vs. Chiefs, says Robert Saleh

Aug 21, 2019 at 12:50 PM--

Neither Fred Warner nor Kwon Alexander suited up for the San Francisco 49ers' first two preseason games. They will play in Saturday's matchup against the Kansas City Chiefs.

It is Week 3 of the preseason, which is often referred to as the "dress rehearsal" for NFL teams. Starters are typically on the field longer than other exhibition matchups and don't usually play in the last, so it will likely be the only preseason action for both linebackers.

We already knew Alexander would play. Head coach Kyle Shanahan said on Monday night that was the plan. Fans eager to see him lined up next to last season's surprise rookie defensive star, Warner, won't have to wait beyond Saturday.

"That's the plan, to give them game action," defensive coordinator Robert Saleh told reporters before Wednesday's team practice.

Saleh said the plan was always to hold Alexander out during the 49ers' first two preseason games.

"With Fred, he's taken a good amount of reps in preseason through practice and all that," he added. "Just taking care of them."

The 49ers signed Alexander to a four-year deal in March even though the linebacker was coming off an ACL injury. He has been able to participate in all of training camp.

"I'll give credit, one, to him with his work ethic," Saleh said of Alexander. "Two, to the performance staff, and the plan that they've had for him, and everybody executing it. He's coming along well. He's made great strides from his first day of practice until now, so I'm excited to get him out there and see what he does for his first game action."

Saleh added, "Like I said, it's no pressure for him to go and be great, an All-Pro in his first preseason action. It's just go out there, get his game reps in and get back comfortable playing football."

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