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John Lynch provides injury updates on 49ers’ Javon Kinlaw, Charvarius Ward

Dec 22, 2022 at 10:01 AM--

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San Francisco 49ers defensive tackle Javon Kinlaw returned to practice on Wednesday. The 6-foot-5 defender has not played since Week 3 due to a setback in his surgically reconstructed knee. It's an issue that has plagued him over the last couple of seasons. Kinlaw, San Francisco's first-round pick in 2020, has only appeared in seven games over the past two seasons.

The 49ers opened his 21-day practice window this week, hoping to activate the defensive tackle from the injured reserve list in time to contribute in the postseason and maybe even get back on the football field as early as this weekend against the Washington Commanders.

"He's practiced really well, and everything's holding up really well," general manager John Lynch told KNBR's Markus Boucher and Marcus Thompson on Thursday morning. "Now, we've got to all kind of put our heads together, the medical folks, our health and performance staff, the doctors, and then our coaching staff and front office, and just talk about the best plan for him.

"It's something that we're in constant conversation [about], but it's also fluid. You have to constantly monitor and think, What's the best thing for Javon? What's the best thing for our team? I think that stands for this week as well. But I do know it was a really welcome sight to have him out there. I know he's very encouraged about how he feels.

"I know, talking to the scout team offensive line, them talking about what a load he is, how strong he is, and how they're feeling it this week. So I think there's a lot of encouraging things, and we'll see where it goes with respect to this [Saturday]."

Lynch also discussed Charvarius Ward. The cornerback suffered a concussion last week against the Seattle Seahawks. He was medically cleared to return to the game, but head coach Kyle Shanahan admitted that something felt wrong, so the 49ers held him out late in the contest.

"I think he passed it initially, but I didn't feel totally right about it, just talking to him and stuff," Shanahan explained. "So we didn't think he should go back in."

The next day, Ward reported to the team exhibiting concussion symptoms and was immediately placed in the NFL's concussion protocol.

"The protocol kind of takes care of itself, so we really can't comment on that," Lynch shared. "I know that he's been tracking well, was out there kind of in a non-contact capacity yesterday. So we'll wait and see on the protocol, and that's really out of our hands, so we'll see. But we'll always make the smart decision.

"I was proud of our coaching staff. He was cleared in that game, medically, and our coaching staff just didn't feel like everything was right. And I think they did the right thing, keeping him out of the game. Not only was that the right thing, it also bodes well moving forward. So I think that was really smart of our coaching staff and our trainers to make that decision."

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