49ers’ Dre Greenlaw still sheds ‘a couple of tears’ thinking about Achilles

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Losing in the Super Bowl brings with it a bitter taste. In the case of Dre Greenlaw, that loss not only brought the typical anguish of defeat but a long road of recovery as well. Just 12 defensive plays into Super Bowl LVIII between Greenlaw’s San Francisco 49ers and the Kansas City Chiefs, the pass rusher suffered a significant Achilles injury that required him to undergo surgery and is expected to delay the start of his 2024 campaign.

The injury itself was a rather freak occurrence. Greenlaw was standing on the sideline waiting to get onto the field alongside the rest of the 49ers defense. As he was jogging out, Greenlaw went down with the non-contact injury. He was carted into the locker room and done for the night as he watched his Niners lose to K.C. 25-22 in overtime.

“Sometimes you get a little flashback and shed a couple of tears thinking about it,”¬†Greenlaw told NBC Sports Bay Area.

Greenlaw had been dealing with Achilles issues down the stretch run of the regular season. He sat out the finale in Week 18 with what the team listed as a right Achilles injury.

“Whenever I took the step, I felt my Achilles,” Greenlaw said. “For some reason, I just thought it was the right one. I thought, ‘Oh, no, somebody stepped on my right Achilles,’ but then I’m reaching for my left one. It ended up being my left Achilles. It was just a devastating, horrible feeling.”

Greenlaw noted that the issues with his right Achilles may have had him overcompensating with his left leg and led to the injury. He underwent surgery four days after the Super Bowl.

“It’s definitely an emotional thing because you know how hard you worked for that moment, how hard your team worked to get in that moment,” Greenlaw said. “You’re that close to it and you can’t go out there and compete. So it just kind of feels like you left everybody hanging. So it’s one of the things that you just kind of think about and you just try not to cry.”

As for what’s next for Greenlaw, 49ers GM John Lynch said he anticipates him to open the season on the PUP list, which would hold him out for the first four games of the year. Greenlaw himself said that he’ll simply listen to his body when factoring in a timetable for his return to the field.

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