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Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Ineffectiveness of painkillers hindered 49ers’ Dre Greenlaw vs. Bengals

Nov 10, 2023 at 8:44 AM--

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Against the Cincinnati Bengals, San Francisco 49ers linebacker Dre Greenlaw recorded his lowest Pro Football Focus grade (41.0) since 2020. His tackling grade plummeted to 28.6, and his coverage grade was equally disappointing at 35.0.

Greenlaw did not play like Greenlaw.

It was later revealed that he had been playing through pain, attempting to be there for his teammates. However, the decision to endure the discomfort may not have been the wisest.

In an effort to play through an ankle injury and the lingering effects of a sprained AC joint in his right shoulder, Greenlaw opted for painkiller shots. Unfortunately, they provided little relief, and the linebacker struggled throughout the game.

"I thought maybe if I got the shots, I'd feel better," Greenlaw told Eric Branch of the San Francisco Chronicle. "And it didn't feel the same. There's no excuses. Once you get out on that field, you've got to go. It's experience. Lesson learned. If you can't go, you can't go. My mindset — I'm always going to do whatever I can do to help the team. But I definitely didn't help the team."

San Francisco lost the game 31-17, marking their third consecutive loss after starting the season with five straight wins.

Even Greenlaw's head coach, Kyle Shanahan, regrets allowing the linebacker to play in that condition. The 49ers are coming off their bye week, and the added time to rest is expected to benefit Greenlaw greatly. He has been a full participant in practices this week.

"I think the bye really helped Dre a lot," Shanahan said Thursday on Bay Area radio station KNBR. "He was really banged up, especially that last game versus Cincy. We probably shouldn't have even let him play that game once it was said and done. And so I think the bye week helped him a ton. He's had a great week of practice."

As the 49ers aim to turn things around this weekend against the Jacksonville Jaguars, they hope for a rejuvenated and fully recovered Greenlaw to help guide the team to a win.

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