Javon Kinlaw yearns to be 'part of something' in 49ers' playoff push

Kinlaw yearns to be 'part of something' in 49ers' playoff push originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea

SANTA CLARA -- Javon Kinlaw wants to be a part of something with the 49ers.

Anything.

The third-year defensive tackle said he is doing everything possible to get back on the field to join in on the fun he believes is coming for the club in the second half of the 2022 NFL season.

“It’s so encouraging to be on this team, and I just want to be out there so bad,” Kinlaw said Tuesday as most of his 49ers teammates concluded their final day of work before the bye and left the Bay Area.

Kinlaw will stick around Santa Clara to continue receiving treatment and physical therapy for a knee condition that has kept him out of action since the 49ers’ Week 3 game at Denver.

“I’m telling you,” Kinlaw said, “I’m trying to do whatever I can to be back out there and have some fun with those guys. It looks like they’re having fun at a level I haven’t even been a part of, yet.

“Even the run last year, all the fun times, the good and the bad, I’m never a part of anything. I just want to get out there and be a part of something.”

The 49ers placed a lot of hope in Kinlaw in 2020. The club traded DeForest Buckner to the Indianapolis Colts and used the draft pick they got in return to select Kinlaw.

However, Kinlaw has encountered knee issues and required reconstructive surgery for the ACL in his right knee last season. Fluid buildup forced him out of the lineup after he went through a pregame workout in hopes of facing the Los Angeles Rams in a Monday night game at Levi's Stadium.

“I just hit a year on my surgery, so I know some things are expected,” Kinlaw said. “Just got to learn how to manage it well, and I’ve learned a lot through being down these couple weeks of what I need to do to manage it, maintain it and be able to stay out there.”

The 49ers placed Kinlaw on injured reserve on Oct. 15, and he is required to miss at least one more game before he is eligible to return to action.

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General manager John Lynch said the 49ers have not given up hope that Kinlaw can return to action this season and still be a big force on the interior of the team's defensive line.

“Whenever he’s played, he’s been a difference in there,” Lynch said. “He’s a large man that can move. He’s got a good feel for the game of football. It’s been hard on Javon. He wants to be out there worse than anyone. He’s been dealt a tough hand. I’m proud of the way he’s been working.”

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