Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports


‘I’m just ready to get back’: 49ers’ Kwon Alexander sought advice from Texans’ J.J. Watt during rehab

Jan 2, 2020 at 1:46 PM--


The final decision whether or not to allow Kwon Alexander to return to the football field for the playoffs will ultimately be up to San Francisco 49ers medical staff and the coaches. The linebacker, who spent his first four NFL seasons with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, has never played in the playoffs and has been preparing as if he will have an opportunity to do so this year.

The 49ers will participate in their first playoff game since the 2013 season on Saturday, January 11. Alexander probably won't play in that game. However, should San Francisco advance to the NFC Championship Game, head coach Kyle Shanahan did say there is a chance the linebacker could be available for that matchup.

Alexander's presence on the field, if healthy, could be significant for the 49ers defense. The linebacker returned to the practice field on Thursday for the first time since his injury. Although, he was limited while wearing a blue no-contact jersey.

"I'm just happy to be back out there," Alexander told reporters on Thursday. "It was fun to be back. Just trying to get ready (to potentially play)."

Having Alexander's energy and enthusiasm back on the field — even if it was just practice — provided an emotional boost for his teammates.

"Just him being on the field, his knowledge of the game, his enthusiasm — he's probably one of the most valuable people in our organization," rookie defensive end Nick Bosa said of Alexander after Thursday's practice. "That's why they brought him here, that's why they paid him."

Alexander suffered a torn pectoral muscle on October 31, 2019, against the Arizona Cardinals. That was less than three months ago. The recovery for such an injury typically takes much longer.

"In my mindset, I've always been legendary," Alexander continued. "Just keep my mindset correct, don't put myself down. A lot of times, you go through those things and those injuries, and it's a hard time. I just stayed up. My teammates, they've been lifting me up. I'm just ready to get back, honestly."


Alexander sought out advice from Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt, who suffered the same injury four days before Alexander's. He was added to the Texans' active roster this week after spending eight games on injured reserve and plans to play during Saturday's playoff game against the Buffalo Bills.

"I'm happy to see him back," Alexander said of Watt. "I can't wait to see him play on Saturday. He lifted me up, too, a little bit. I appreciate him."

Rookie linebacker Dre Greenlaw, like Bosa, is another 49ers defensive teammate who notices a difference — even during practice — when Alexander is on the field.

"Like [Bosa] said, he's the emotional leader of this team," Greenlaw told reporters in the locker room after practice. "He's the hype guy that gets everybody going. We definitely missed that, so having him back out there, you can just tell by practice, how much fun, how much energy we had.

"Just having a warrior back like him, it makes everybody just want to go, just like he does. It just gives us that energy and enthusiasm, and he brings it all."



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