Injuries ruined the 49ers season in 2020 and are already starting to take a toll on this year’s roster.
Already without cornerback Jason Verrett and running back Raheem Mostert due to season ending injuries, today it was reported that starting linebacker Dre Greenlaw had surgery to repair a groin injury leaving San Francisco without its starting weakside linebacker for up to eight weeks.
Greenlaw played 37 snaps in a season opening victory over Detroit, however he did not return to the game after returning an interception of Jared Goff for a touchdown just before halftime.
The 49ers have made a number of moves this week to fill the gaps caused by the injuries. The team signed cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick and running backs Kerryon Johnson along with claiming Trenton Cannon off waivers to fill the openings left by the injuries to Verrett and Mostert. The team also signed linebacker Curtis Bolton to their practice squad.
It is expected that Azeez Al-Shaair will step into Greenlaw’s position, while Demtrius Flannigan-Fowles steps into the starting lineup to replace Al-Shaair.
Flannigan-Fowles played safety collegiately at the University of Arizona and made the move to linebacker after signing as an undrafted free agent in 2019. He spent all of his first season on the practice squad before making the active roster for 2020.
Flannigan-Fowles played in 11 games in 2020, finishing with nine tackles. He made his first career start in a week 17 loss to the Seattle Seahawks in place of Dre Greenlaw.
Against Detroit in week one, Flannigan-Fowles played 39 total snaps with 17 coming on defense. He would finish the game with three tackles, a career high.