49ers GM Lynch updates Greenlaw, Hufanga injuries

ORLANDO— Linebacker Dre Greenlaw may start 2024 on the physically unable to perform list, according to 49ers general manager John Lynch. Lynch told Bay Area journalists Monday during the NFL Annual Meeting that Greenlaw's operation went well. The linebacker may miss a few games early in the season due to his February Achilles injury.

“The Achilles takes a while,” Lynch said. Dre will say he'll be back Week 1, and I don't doubt him, but we must be smart. Perhaps a PUP.” In case Greenlaw isn't ready for Week 1, the 49ers signed linebacker De'Vondre Campbell for one year. On one-year contracts, they re-signed Demetrius Flannigan-Fowles, Curtis Robinson, and Ezekiel Turner.

I think De’Vondre gives us the opportunity,” Lynch added. “A guy who plays like us and has a lot of experience can replace Dre. Three talented players have played at a great level until Dre returns.”

In case safety Talanoa Hufanga doesn't recover from an ACL injury by Week 1, the team has a backup. With a serious knee injury, the USC player may return this season after suffering the injury in Week 11 of 2023. Lynch added “Talanoa is doing really well”. “Great news. He's rehabilitating faster than expected. Talanoa works hard and does well.”

Lynch believes Ji'Ayir Brown is settling into his starting job opposite veteran Tashaun Gipson, a free agent who could return for a third season. Special teams star George Odum might play safety.

We’re incredibly high on Ji’Ayir,” Lynch said. His potential as a playmaker and trusted player at that position. We approve of those folks. Do you keep adding? George Odum, Gip, and do we want to add? We'll see.

We feel like free agency is over, but there may be one or two more moves." Although Jamal Adams, Justin Simmons, Eddie Jackson, Micah Hyde, and Quandre Diggs are free agents, the 49ers will not overpay for them. For depth, they may wait until after the draft in April.

The safety market kind of took a beating,” said Hall of Fame safety Lynch. “I feel bad for them. It took years to get the athletes paid, and many were cut, so some good players were out there. You'd be dumb not to look, so we did.”

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