Kwon Alexander done for season with torn pec

San Francisco 49ers general manager greets middle linebacker Kwon Alexander at the end of an NFL football game against the Carolina Panthers in Santa Clara, Calif., Sunday, Oct. 27, 2019. San Francisco won the game, 51-13. (AP Photo/Tony Avelar)

The 49ers just announced linebacker Kwon Alexander tore his pectoral muscle Thursday night against the Arizona Cardinals and likely will have season-ending surgery next week.

Tough blow. Alexander was the heart of the defense, and a play maker. This season, he has 34 tackles, two tackles for loss, one quarterback hit, half of a sack, one forced fumble, four pass breakups and an interception. Opposing quarterbacks completed only 36.4 percent of their passes when targeting Alexander. He’s an excellent player, especially in pass coverage.

As a run defender, Alexander is small and misses lots of tackles. This season, he missed 11 tackles in eight games. And he can’t stay healthy. He sat out 10 games with a torn ACL last season when he played for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. That was before the 49ers signed him to a four-year, $54 million contract.

Alexander’s replacement, Dre Greenlaw, is a rookie who has missed no tackles this season. He’s a fast and violent run defender, but might be a liability in coverage. He has given up three catches in four targets this season, and he’s short — only 5’11”.

How do you think Alexander’s injury will affect the 49ers the rest of the season?

For more on this topic, check out my video below:

This article has 128 Comments

  1. I’m not sure how to grade Kwon’s first season here. He’s a heck of a player. Improved the team. Going to leave a hole that will need to be filled well for the defence to stay at a high level (or rather, to stay at the obscene level it has been in most games). But only having him for 8 games, and really only 7 given his ejection in the first game, has me feeling that it was a bit of a disappointment all told. It’s not really through any fault of his own, but my feeling is we need to see more of him next year. I don’t think it makes him injury prone per se, but I think if you told us before the year we’d get less than half a season from him before he’s on IR most people would call the move a bust. It’s clearly not a bust, but I’m feeling a lot less satisfied with that acquisition than I was a week ago, and it’s weird because I can’t exactly blame him for tearing his pectoral.

    In any case, I guess it’s time to forget Kwon. He’s irrelevant for the rest of this season. I think Greenlaw can step up, and I’m not worried about the defence falling off a cliff as we have seen it perform to a high, clutch level without him, but it’s going to be a test.

    1. Agreed,

      Joe Jones is available. He has speed; is a special teams ace–intangibles–only 25, just needs to be coached up. If I were the Niners I’d take a flyer.

      1. Jones was an signed by the Broncos in 2017 off of the Seattle Seahawks practice squad, so knows the defense–plug and play.

      2. Can’t hurt. I’m fully on board with the next man up, but the depth would be useful and competition is crucial to keep the young rookies with a chip on their shoulder.

        Shifting gears, I hope Witherspoon is back for Seattle. Mosely has been mostly good but I felt he had a really rough outing last night. Given that the team will be losing some coverage ability I think it’s more important than ever these young corners keep stepping up. Only going to get tougher from here anyway, but this is what I’ve missed. If this team is ready for a ring, they’ll find a way. Like I said in another post, the only players going down that I feel would really derail the Niners aside from the obvious Jimmy is Buckner, the true heart of the defence, and Bosa, who needs to be the finisher for the team in the big time.

        1. I think he just got greedy. Defense and his play has been so good he thought he could get away with taking a risk. Just misjudged the ball.

  2. It will be a big blow, for the upcoming games.
    Bad news he did it right after the trade deadline, good news is he did it during half the season.
    Hopefully Greenlaw can become what I think he can become. Just in a faster time span.

    I’m guessing teams like Seattle will keep the pressure on the LB’s with their mobile qB’s.
    Greenlaw has very good speed. And can tackle like Grant stated.
    But he’s “green” in the NFL game.
    If he’s a quick learner it will be a blessing.
    I hope and I’m sure he will Kwon will be in his ear at every film session and practice and during games.

    Up to the defensive coaches to get this kid prepared to wreck shop.
    Thank goodness for GoldmenSacks He will benefit from them. And yeah I used my own nickname. 😛😛
    Go Niners!

  3. I think we’ll be okay. The strength of our defense is the front 4 and the rotation we have there. Warner is the leader of this defense, Kwon was more of a hype man and made a ton of splash plays. I really like Greenlaw, i think he fits nicely into that role, but he’s a rookie. Definitely need to bring on Lee from the PS, was playing really well late last year. I think a combination of those 2 should work fine. But yeah its still a tough loss.

    Lot of people seem to be making a lot of our struggles against Kyler yesterday, i think the lack of preparation and rest played a huge role. It was good we got to go against him before we meet Russ, Kyler is basically a Russel Wilson -lite. We will be very prepared for Seattle.

    1. Huge.

      Not having sufficient time to recover from an emotional, hard fought football game is hard on an offense, but even harder on a defense. What we saw last night was a fatigued 49ers defense, facing an unconventional Cardinals’ offense, without enough time to properly prepare from a defensive standpoint.

      As far as I am concerned, we really can’t use last nights defensive performance as any kind of measuring stick in terms of what we can expect moving forward. The circumstances leading up to last night’s game were so unique, and the odds were so badly stacked against the Niners’ defense, that I would consider last night’s results to be what I would call an “outlier”, so to speak.

      I expect to see a very different, and much more effective 49ers defensive, both in terms of energy and execution, but also in terms of their game plan, against not only the Seahawks on Monday Night, but also the following Sunday against this same Cardinal’s offense.

      1. What a bounce back year Weston Richburg is having, he’s been outstanding. And Laken Tomlinson should be getting more praise as well, IMO, he’s really developing into an elite OG, both as a run blocker, and pass protector.

        I can hardly wait for 11/11, this is shaping up to be an epic prime-time MNF battle!

        1. Off topic, but it’s looking like the Wolverines are finally finding their groove, all be it, too little to late, and West Virginia is giving the Fighting Irish all they can handle today, down in South Bend, taking a little of the shine off of Michigan’s big win last week VS ND.

          And man, I’d love to see Georgia’s RB – D’Andre Swift, wearing a 49ers uniform come next season. I absolutely love his fit for Shanahan’s offense!

  4. I think Elijah Lee is good replacement. I think he was good in pass coverage.
    Another possibility is moving Tartt to LB.

    1. Agreed-but who takes Tartt’s place? Tartt will have to learn the position as well……….but relatively fast, light LB’s are the trend now.
      This trend may come full circle. I think the LB of today would have a hard time with a steady dose of Earl Campbell or John Riggins–or a young Frank Gore behind the Hogs.

          1. Catfish, Saw and I have developed a rapport.
            You are cute to try and catfish me, but imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. Fortunately, many see right through you.
            I do not engage with most posters, so you cannot engage, and expect them to think I am you.. Most have learned their lesson, and leave me alone to post my comments, in peace.
            I am glad I am making you waste your time, trying so hard to sound like me.

  5. Eight more games and we’ve lost so many players. I’d feel more comfortable with a vetran presence in case we lose more to injury.

    1. More on Gordon…

      Gordon had been playing through an injured left knee and was knocked out of the team’s Oct. 10 win over the New York Giants. He suffered the injury while attempting to make a tackle after a Patriots fumble.

      1. Isn’t for sure that he will play against the Niners. Carrol said the will take a look when the time comes. He might not be ready. Playing against the NIners is what they are shooting for.

  6. They saw a huge dose of screens executed successfully last night — this was very unlike Weeks 1-7. Kliff’s Air Raid was better designed to create that space. We had not seen the 49ers’ pass rush neutralized they way the Cardinals did in the second half.

    — David Lombardi (@LombardiHimself) November 1, 2019

  7. Question for the board. In 2014 Harbaugh was believed to have highly coveted Garoppolo. Instead they chose Carlos Hyde.
    Would that move have saved his job?

      1. I agree as Harbaugh who was brought in to develop a QB never did that. In fact, the way he handled the QB position probably cost him his job and getting another in the NFL.

        1. Trent Baalke’s machinations cost him his job. Your just attempting to filter history through a perspective as you want to see it. Baalke was threatened by Harbaugh and he was the type of personality who had control issues. Wrong type for a GM.

          Baalke’s plan to get rid of Harbaugh was in motion before the 2013 season began.

    1. 2014? Who cares? Brick by brick baby.

      The answer is no. Harbaugh was on the way out before that season started and Garoppolo probably wouldn’t have played that year anyway.

          1. Why would he not have played? He was probably better than Kaepernick even as a rookie.
            And CK’s contract was a glorified year to year deal.

            1. Jimmy G has some of the same issues that were attributed to Kaep, except he is the teflon kid. Jimmy is much more personable.

  8. He misses tackles but can cover. I would rather have a LB who can cover then one who cant. So it depends whats important on the defense and it looks like they want LB with speed and who can cover. If Greenlaw cant cover then defense will go down. I hope they sign somebody.

    Yes next man up but hes a rookie LB that will have to go up against passing teams and I wouldnt put him in that bad spot

  9. How did 27 other teams pass on Josh Gordon before the annoying Seahags landed him?!?

    In other news, they cut Dekota Watson in order to make room for him on the 53. Might be nice to have him back on the squad as the strong side LB. Thought he played well last go around. Might also want to stick it to the ‘hags come Monday night.

        1. He knows how they game planned for Sunday. He has eyes and ears that saw a heard all that went on in the locker room. He could give analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of his former team mates. He could pinpoint tendencies, and talk about snap counts.
          The Niners are not privy to that information, unless they have a spy in the locker room, which is illegal.

  10. Someone posted this over at NN, but there’s no citation. Anyway:

    Most wins through 18 career starts since 1950:
    Daryle Lamonica: 17
    Ben Roethlisberger: 17
    Dan Marino: 16
    Roger Staubach: 16
    Jimmy Garoppolo: 16

        1. The Mad Bomber, Howard Cosell gave him that name. My dads name is Jack and when he was greeted at the airport he always cautioned people never use the word Hi when greeting him. (hi-Jack) True story.

  11. Losing Alexander for the year sucks. He’s been really good against the pass and forced some turnovers. He’s also a big part of the attitude and mindset of the D.

    Greenlaw worries me a bit. He gets fooled a little too easily. One of the reasons the D has played so well against the pass is the great job the LBs have done diagnosing the play early and reacting.

  12. Having had time to watch and digest the game, obviously the big talking point is how JG played. I see a few people saying he’s “silenced his critics”, it was a “statement game”, and so on. I guess in some respects it was, but really more from the perspective of dispelling this odd narrative that had started to form that JG couldn’t “put the team on his back” (or arm) when needed. Not sure how this came about as he has done it a few times now.

    But for mine, there wasn’t a great difference in JG’s performance in this game than many other games this year. The main differences were he was required to throw the ball a little more than usual this season, his “risky” throws almost all came off (much like in 2017), and his accuracy was a bit more on the money throughout the game.

    Overall though, this was just a display of who he is and has been as a QB for the 49ers. He’s always been quite good on money downs and under pressure. He showcased that in this game again. And he has always shown a willingness to throw “risky” balls and trust his receivers to make a play. He did that again in this game… and came up aces each time.

    1. Yeah, I think you pretty much nailed it. There were some risky throws in this game. However, having a receiver like Sanders perhaps reduces some of the risk because Jimmy is a guy who throws anticipation throws. He can trust Sanders to be where he is supposed to be more than the young guys like Bourne, Pettis, etc.

      1. That’s definitely part of it. That throw to Sanders where he dropped it in his hands just as Sanders was turning his head to find it was a peach. But he also had a few throws where he just let it rip and trusted the defender wouldn’t make the play. Sanders TD was an example. If the DB turns his head its an INT. There was another pass to Sanders where he threw the ball falling backwards to avoid the hit that Sanders caught between a bunch of defenders. He’s willing to take risks to make plays.

        1. It’s the old Brett Favre mentality. Sometimes if you don’t take chances you don’t win those games.
          The thing for Jimmy is you have to make sure those risky throws and catches outweigh the INT’s or pick 6’s.
          So far so good and it’s not like he has a gunslinger mentality. Shannys play calling won’t allow him to go off the rails.
          He makes me nervous too but it’s starting to wear off.

    1. Jimmy G is one of the fastest-on-the-draw QBs in the NFL. Really hard to sack someone when he gets the ball out at around 2.51 seconds on average.

      1. His 2017 season is when that quick release paid dividends. This season not so much. You can always tell when he quick releases because he will turn to avoid a head on hit . You saw that a lot in 2017. I saw it once last season and noticed it a few times this last game. His quick release was not really a factor this season.

  13. Watching Football Life featuring Ronnie Lott. Man, did not see him play only highlights film, but boy the man was a monster player! The sad part is in today’s game he won’t be able to play the way he did.

    1. Ricardo…..
      The sad part is in today’s game he won’t be able to play the way he did.

      And that’s why I will never call Tom Brady the GOAT!
      He is the greatest at modern day two hand touch football. I’ll give him that.

  14. Tough blow as he was really a top-flight linebacker despite the negative Nancy’s that cried when we signed him, but we have some good news today:

    49ers’ Nick Bosa on track to be NFL’s best Defensive Rookie of the Year of all time

    The 49ers nailed their selection of defensive end NIck Bosa at No. 2 overall in the 2019 NFL Draft. The rookie from Ohio State is a big reason why San Francisco is 7-0 going into Thursday’s Week 9 game against the Cardinals (8:20 p.m. ET, Fox, NFL Network and Amazon Prime Video).

    There’s also every reason to believe that Bosa is not only the league’s runaway Defensive Rookie of the Year, but is also a leading strong candidate for Defensive Player of the Year. One more thing: There have been many great seasons put up by defensive rookies in the 100-year history of the NFL, but Bosa is on track to have the best one ever.

    B-…. lol

  15. Staley goes out, Skule steps in. McGlinchey goes down, Brunskill steps in. Witherspoon goes down, Mosley steps in. McKinnon out, Coleman in. Juszczyk down, cast of many in. K Williams was down for a while, Reed steps in. And so on and so on. ….. Warner will step up even more and watch as a combo of Greenlaw, Al-Ahaair, Nzeocha, and maybe even a few xtra db’s step in. And with a few starters coming back, this team will not lose a step. But please. no more injuries!


  16. One thing I want Saleh to do, is be less predictable to start out the game. That 36 yard run was because the Cards game planned how the Niner defense would start in their alignment. The Rams. the same thing. Fortunately, Saleh made adjustments, but if he had kept them guessing from the beginning, they could not exploit the Niner defense so readily.
    On offense, I hope KS does not let their defense shape the Niner offense. Yes, he is putting Kittle in motion, but when he stops, it is just negates the best aspects of having a man in motion, and it becomes an elaborate shift. I would also like to see more jet sweeps and bubble screens to counter the stacked box.
    I still want the Niners to consider time outs to be precious, and saved for legitimate challenges, and the last 2 minutes of each half. Fortunately, burning those 3 time outs in the second half did not come back to haunt them. It seems as though the time outs disrupted their rhythm and timing, and allowed the Card defense time to devise strategies to counter the Niner offense. In other games, those wasted time outs resulted in interceptions and a fumble, so those time outs were counter productive.
    Kingsbury gave KS a textbook case on how wasting time outs could hurt a team. Calling a time out before they stuffed Wilson on the goal line, allowed KS to devise a play that put Sanders in at FB, and score. Throwing a red flag on a very iffy, non legitimate call, just made them waste another time out. Burning a time out to prevent a delay of game penalty, may be smart, but it would have been smarter to just get the play off in time. By wasting time outs like a drunken sailor, Kingsbury was impotent to stop the clock, allowing the Niners to take kneel downs to end the game.
    I wonder if the Niners will move Greenlaw to Kwon’s position, but who will take the SAM LB spot? Maybe the best move would be to sign Dekota Watson, who was just cut from the Seahawks. He could provide good intel, since the Niners have to play the Seahawks twice. He also used to be with the Niners, so he would be familiar with the Niner defense.

      1. Oneniner I think he’s heard that from people here about a million times, maybe you’re the straw that breaks his streak of ignorance?

        1. If ignorance is bliss, there should be more happy people-VC, on this site.
          I am not happy, and think they better improve. Now comes the hard part of the schedule, and complacency will lead to getting punched in the mouth. Richard Sherman is not blissful. He knows the Niners need to get better.

          1. I do not care for your childish attempts to sound like a knowledgeable grown-up.
            However I will say that type of nonsense has won a presidential election.
            Anything is possible for the weak-minded.
            The 49ers are 8-0 and we are made to read useless noise on the blog.

            1. I had been off since 9:54, so my catfish got to make 7 snarky posts.
              ‘Made to read useless noise..’ No, that is just a dead giveaway. Just scroll past.

      2. Richard Sherman wants constructive criticism, so they stay humble. KS always says that they were not perfect, and there is room for improvement.
        Go ahead, believe they are without flaw. I think otherwise. Guess you think that after they called time outs, and JG threw picks and fumbled the ball in earlier games, that they are above reproach. Guess you think that Saleh is perfect, and the 36 yard run to start the game was just bad luck. Looks like teams will sell out to stop the run against the Niners, so they should not worry, and stay with bunched sets.

      1. When we have both our starting tackles and FB its demoralizing to a defense to know its coming and not be able to stop it. It hasn’t been working without the ability to block the OZ scheme so fans a frustrated with it. It will be better once we get our starters back.

  17. Jimmy G just did what he was supposed to do by throwing when the Cards stacked the box to prevent the run. That’s why we want our WRs to be able to win in man to man coverage for this circumstance. Sanders showed he can do that as has Kittle. Deebo can at times. The others need to step it up a helluva lot more. I wonder why the RBs haven’t been used as receivers more? Tevin Coleman has good hands and Breida turned out to have pretty good hands.

    1. Every player will drop some balls. Coleman has had his share of drops already this season. If you get few balls thrown your way and you drop one it really stands out.

          1. Actually, I hyper extended my knee playing soccer, and while there was no structural damage, it took a while to recover. Thankfully, he has 11 days before playing again.

  18. PT says:
    November 1, 2019 at 2:47 pm
    Question for the board. In 2014 Harbaugh was believed to have highly coveted Garoppolo. Instead they chose Carlos Hyde.
    Would that move have saved his job?

    REPLY: It would have Prime. Those were the days when Jed and Marathe went cheap on coaches, hiring (drop your drawers) Sing and (The Jiffy Lube guy who farts) Tomsula.

    It wasn’t until fans, enmass, boycotted Levis leaving hot dogs to rot that nationally televised 49er games were instructed not to show the empty stands the last 5 games of that season by the NFL.

    Then–via Gary Plummber–Denise Debartolo stepped in to slap Lil’ Lord Fauntleroy’, Marathe, and their money schemes down–the hiding of lawn watering bills from the City of Santa Clara (records obtained by city after law suit); not paying concert artists their full share –(Santana) or Santa Clara City,etc, etc,, that the 49ers hired Kyle Shanahan.

    With JG at QB, Harbaugh and Fangio, fthe 49ers would have been good. But with Kyle, we upgraded in the offensive wizzardry dept. with a complex running game AND passing game….Look at Saleh and Fangio as a wash–no loss there.

    It’s worth noting NFL officials actually had to fly out to San Francisco to visit the York’s to let them know what an embarassment they were and to at least hire quality coaches—Don’t know if it was a veiled threat to take their team away per NFL by laws.

    1. What a stupid answer. At $5 million a year, Harbaugh was one of the highest paid non-Superbowl winning coaches in the NFL. He’d be the #11 highest paid coach in the NFL if he was still here and making that amount.

      As far as Tomsula, he was one of five coaches making $3.5 million a year. Same as Jack Del Rio, Gus Bradley, Joe Philbin and Mike Pettine.

      1. The council gave the team an ‘F’ for financial performance, paying fair market rent, fair wages and lack of transparency.

        I stand by my comments: Lets refresh–1. Hiding Levi stadium lawn watering records and forcing the city of Santa Clara to sue for them; underpaying stars for events as well as the City of Santa Clara; forcing Harb’s to pull his team of Levi’s field because it was unwatered, dangerous, and coming up in chunks, etc., etc.,

            1. “At issue is whether the 49ers and ManCo have cooked the books and whether the city is entitled to more money.

              “Santa Clara Mayor Lisa Gillmor has accused the team of refusing to provide itemized expenditures and revenues, while also shifting costs from Niner gamers—such as replacing chewed-up turf—to events that cover the grass when stages are placed for touring acts. ”

              Since the sudden and mysterious February resignation of Santa Clara’s former Mayor Jamie Matthews—just a day after the Super Bowl and less than a week after a San Jose Inside report detailed widespread dysfunction within City Hall—Gillmor has been on a warpath, often painting the Red & Gold as raiders in the night.


              1. Your prose reads longer than the Iliad.
                Try concise statements followed by evidentiary information to back up your claims.

      2. Not just the head coach, in the Chip Kelly year the Niners had one of if not the cheapest staff payroll in the league. Remember Jim O’Neil?

  19. *The bad news for 49er fans; Jed and Marathe are young, so when the matriarch ages, Jed’s money making schemes of screwing over evereyone will back in full force.

    (Remember fans, it wasn’t long ago When Harbaugh pulled his team from Levi stadium’s maiden pracitice in front of Silicon Valley’s ‘billionaire only’ club saying: “the grass wasn’t watered” that he lost his job + some choice words in the locker room)…..

    Moral of the Story: One doesn’t embarass billionaires, even if you’re a millionaire like Harb’s, because a million dollars to a billionaire is like a $ 1 dollar bill.

  20. Upon further review –

    1. I’m not convinced McGlnchey is our best option at RT. He had some uneven performances this year.
    1A. Tart and Ward are also inconsistent and injury prone.
    2. Dwelley has earned more time. Hoping KS works him into the rotation upon Juszczyk’s return.
    3. So adding a fast , surehanded , good route running WR improves our offense . Gee, who could have predicted.
    4. We have played two former niner punters this year – Andy Lee, Pinion. Andy Lee’s contract was bloated and we let him walk- smart. In 2015 we burned a 5th round draft pick on Pinion – dumb. We eventually let Pinion walk and last year we burned a 4th rounder on Wishnowsky -super dumb. There are UDFA performing better or equal to .
    5. Jimmy G had several amazing throws but he was at his best during the 4 minute drill at the end of the game. The last thing we needed was for the Cards to get the ball back with momentum on their side. He converted on two 3rd and long stepping up into the pocket to avoid a sack. Jimmy G delivered two great passes to Sanders and Dwelley the niners ran out the clock.

  21. REPLY: Buon Compleanno, JG!!!

    Golden Nuggets: An optimistic take on the Kwon Alexander injury
    San Francisco 49ers links for Saturday November 2, 2019

    … disappointed that Kwon won’t be back on the field in 2019, his positive message and attitude are contagious, which lead me to look for a reason – any reason – to have optimism following this devastating loss.

    And I found one: Jimmy Garoppolo

    You can talk about numbers, you can talk about stats, you can talk about turnovers and ill advised throws, but the fact is Jimmy G went 5-0 in 2017 with a team far less talented than this one.

    Shanahan was just getting his legs underneath him as a head coach in 2017 during that 5-0 streak, still in his first year. Saleh was in his first year as well.

    Zane Beadles started 4 of those 5 games on the offensive line. Daniel Kilgore started all 5 at center.

    Dontae Johnson was a starting corner.

    And who was the starting WILL linebacker during that five game streak?

    None other than Brock Coyle.

    And with that lineup, Jimmy Garoppolo – in his first five starts with the 49ers and limited knowledge of the playbook – won 5 straight games against mostly quality opponents.

    1. Tom,
      Good take.

      The naysayers and complainers will always question Lynch’ and Shanahan’
      moves even with an 8-0 record. It’s amazing that some here believe that they can do better – what a joke!
      Sometimes people just can’t help it.

      Greatness comes and goes like a plant.
      It happened with the glory days of the 49ers, the SFGiants and now the present day Warriors.
      I’m going to thoroughly enjoy what the team is doing this year.
      Enjoy the moment!

  22. Oft injured player injured again……no longer is it the “HOT BOYs”…

    Blow to the D…..can Greenlaw get it done??? now there is a weakness on the D for the rest of the year or will it make no difference???

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *