Javon Kinlaw played on plenty of big stages during his college days at South Carolina, as the Gamecocks play in the prestigious Southeastern Conference, the most talent-rich collection of football teams in NCAA football.
In Week 4, Kinlaw will get his first opportunity to play in a primetime game for the 49ers, as the Philadelphia Eagles will be making the trek to Levi’s Stadium for “Sunday Night Football.”
There typically is significant enthusiasm for a player’s first appearance on national TV in the NFL, a rookie’s first chance to show the entire country just who he is. But for Kinlaw, a different emotion will fuel him in Sunday’s matchup.
"That's the thing, I'm not excited when I play," Kinlaw explained to reporters Thursday. "I'm very angry when I play. It's not excitement for me.
"Every game is the same, no matter who is the opponent. You look at them all the same. Of course, I'm looking forward to getting out there for another opportunity to showcase what I can do."
Kinlaw wants to bring the same intensity, whether it’s a scrimmage out on a practice field or a Super Bowl. The 22-year-old won’t be fazed by the bright lights and the national TV spectacle.
The Eagles are one of the only NFL teams as banged up as the 49ers are through three weeks, as Philadelphia practiced with just one healthy receiver on Thursday. Similar to the 49ers’ last two opponents, the Eagles enter without a win and are on the verge of desperation mode, as quarterback Carson Wentz’s supporting cast continues to drop like flies.
With multiple offensive linemen potentially out for Philly, this could be a prime moment for Kinlaw to send a message to the rest of the NFL, and show just how disruptive he can be in the trenches.
After the afternoon NFL games end Sunday, go to NBC Sports Bay Area or the MyTeams app at 4 p.m. PT for "49ers Pregame Live," as Laura Britt, Jeff Garcia, Donte Whitner, Ian Williams, Matt Maiocco, Jennifer Lee Chan and Grant Liffmann preview the "Sunday Night Football" matchup against the Eagles. Then, after the game, come back for "49ers Postgame Live," with highlights, analysis, interviews and more.