SANTA CLARA - If D.J. Jones' shoulder injury proves to be serious, Javon Kinlaw is ready to step in for the 49ers on the interior defensive line.
Jones left the field early Thursday, unable to finish practice after getting rolled up on in a pile. General manager John Lynch reported Friday in an interview on KNBR that preliminary evaluations have been inconclusive and more tests have been scheduled.
Kinlaw, who the 49ers drafted with the No. 14 overall pick, could be someone who could fill in if Jones is off the field for an extended time.
Defensive coordinator Robert Saleh says it's a natural fit for the South Carolina product but Kinlaw isn't the only option the team has. Solomon Thomas, Kentavius Street and Darrion Daniels also are being considered.
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Saleh added that defensive line coach Kris Kocurek has each player training in all four positions on the line so it won't be a reach for anyone. As opposed to a traditional nose tackle, the 49ers value speed, get off and explosiveness -- which all of them have -- as opposed to just brute strength.
"When the time comes you continue to train them appropriately," Saleh said. "As for Kinlaw, absolutely. He can go down there and play."
Jones' 2019 season was cut short due to an ankle injury he suffered in Week 14. Prior to that, the defensive tackle had two sacks, 23 total tackles, two quarterback hits and a forced fumble. He had been feeling 100-percent since his return before the shoulder injury.
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Javon Kinlaw could step in for 49ers if D.J. Jones has to miss time originally appeared on NBC Sports Bay Area