CHICAGO -- Bad news, but nothing shocking.
Second-year defensive tackle Javon Kinlaw has had season-ending surgery on his knee, and the 49ers will place him on Injured Reserve.
"He'll be out this year," head coach Kyle Shanahan said Friday. "We'll have an announcement on it, so there's a lot of things that went into it that they found. But I think the good news is they feel they solved the problem. And obviously, it hurts, him not going to be with us this year. But just talking to the doctor and not me personally, but [general manager] John [Lynch] and our doctors talking to him. They feel, he feels that he found the issue and he thinks that'll be good news for us next year.”
It's nice to know that Shanahan is optimistic Kinlaw will make a full recovery, but it's worth noting the 49ers have been optimistic about Jalen Hurd for three seasons and he still hasn't appeared in a regular season game.
Kinlaw had another knee surgery earlier this year, but it was unsuccessful. He reinjured his knee before training camp, then soldiered his way through the past three months. He rarely practiced fully with the team, as he physically couldn't. In retrospect, it's commendable he gutted it out this long. Good for him.
From the 49ers' perspective, this is terrible news. Kinlaw was their first-round pick last year -- he was supposed to replace DeForest Buckner. And so far, Kinlaw has just 1.5 sacks in his career.
Unless this knee surgery fixes his knee completely, he'll go down as a medical bust.