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Johnny Holland confident 49ers’ Dre Greenlaw will make a strong comeback

May 22, 2024 at 4:00 PM

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Dre Greenlaw suffered a devastating injury during February's Super Bowl loss to the Kansas City Chiefs, tearing his Achilles and missing half the game. The San Francisco 49ers linebacker has been on the challenging road to recovery since then.

Greenlaw's progress appears promising. He attended the Dwight Clark Legacy Series event last week without a protective boot and seemed to be moving well as he walked on stage to accept the prestigious Dwight Clark Award.

"It's a long, long, slow process," Greenlaw told the audience at the California Theatre in San Jose. "I'm feeling really, really good, though. I'm happy to be able to walk on the stage, actually."

While Greenlaw isn't participating in the organized team activities (OTAs) that kicked off this week, he remains focused on his recovery. In March, John Lynch shared that Greenlaw hopes to be ready for Week 1. However, the general manager anticipates the linebacker might start the regular season on the physically unable to perform (PUP) list.

"It's been about three months now since the injury," Greenlaw said. "I just recently got out of the boot, and just, slowly, every day, just rehabbing, getting the strength, getting the mobility in it. And yeah, just doing whatever it takes to be able to get back on the field as soon as possible."

49ers linebackers coach Johnny Holland spoke to reporters today, acknowledging that the defense misses Greenlaw's presence on the practice field.

"Dre is always positive," Holland said. "Dre is always the cup is half full than empty, and I got a lot of confidence that he'll be back full-go. And I don't know the timeframe, but Dre is a player that stands for the Forty-Niner type of defensive player that we want. He's a violent, physical player, but on the other side, he's a great teammate, and we miss him being on the field. But [injuries are] part of the game, and he'll get through it."

San Francisco signed De'Vondre Campbell to fill in for Greenlaw if he has to miss significant time. Holland shared his assessment of the newcomer.

"He's been awesome," Holland shared. "I've been watching him play for a long time, [since] he was a rookie in 2016 at Atlanta. It's his ninth year in the league now, and he's gravitating to our system. He has such good awareness in coverage and his ability to still run and play. And so we're excited about having him, and he will fit good in our system."

Holland noted that Campbell is flourishing within the 49ers' scheme before adding, "He's long and tall, and we're excited to have him. He fits in good with what we do."

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