Photo courtesy of the San Francisco 49ers

Photo courtesy of the San Francisco 49ers


49ers ‘searching for answers’ to help Javon Kinlaw get healthy, says John Lynch

Oct 22, 2021 at 9:21 AM--


On Sunday night, a familiar face will be leading his Indianapolis Colts defense into Levi's Stadium, looking to prove that the San Francisco 49ers made a mistake by trading him last year. All-Pro defensive tackle DeForest Buckner will play against his former team for the first time since that trade.

General manager John Lynch knows the move to ship Buckner, an outstanding young talent, will be questioned for years to come. The two sides just couldn't find a contract extension figure that worked well for each party.

"We loved everything about DeForest," Lynch said this morning on KNBR's Murph & Mac show. "... A lot of people, and I'm sure they'll continue to talk whether that was the right move [or] wrong move, but it's the move we made at the time, and we did not make it lightly."

The 49ers received the No. 13 overall pick in last year's draft for Buckner, who signed a four-year, $84 million contract extension with the Colts after the trade.

San Francisco used the selection, after trading down one spot to No. 14 overall, to draft defensive tackle Javon Kinlaw, who has been hampered by injuries. Lynch knows the potential for an impactful player is there, though. The team just needs to help their young defensive tackle get past the setbacks.

"I think he's exactly the player we thought he would be," Lynch said of Kinlaw. "Unfortunately, that has been tremendously — not just a little bit — hindered by injuries. And it's an injury he had in his first year, and that thing has kind of stuck with him. We're searching for answers."

The 49ers have held Kinlaw out of practices this week, and he has been limited in previous weeks. In fact, Kinlaw hasn't been a full participant all season in a practice leading to a game. In addition, he has been listed as "doubtful" or "questionable" every week preceding a matchup.

"We still are very resolute that he's going to be a tremendous [asset], and has the makings of a dominant player," Lynch continued, "but you have to be healthy in this league to do that. So, he's struggling through that.

"We're trying to help him find answers, and we're working towards that. It's unfortunate, but that's always a risk in this league."

You can listen to the entire conversation with Lynch below.




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