49ers linebacker Dre Greenlaw suffered an Achilles tear in the Super Bowl that put question marks around his availability for the 2024 season. Now the LB is eyeing a Week 1 return according to general manager John Lynch. Lynch is less optimistic about the LB’s quick return.

While Greenlaw is hopeful to be back in the lineup for the 49ers in early September, Lynch is leaning more toward Greenlaw starting the season on the Physically Unable to Perform list per NBC Sports Bay Area’s Matt Maiocco.

If Greenlaw does start the regular season on the PUP list he won’t be able to practice, but he’d be eligible to return after six weeks. The PUP three-week practice window works the same as the IR practice window. He’d have 21 days from the time the window is opened to ramp up and get in football shape before the team would be required to activate him or shut him down for the year.

Even if Greenlaw returns by Week 7 or 8 it would be a huge boost for the 49ers’ defense. They added LB De’Vondre Campbell this offseason to likely fill in for Greenlaw. Whether Greenlaw takes back his starting Will LB spot or jumps in as an overqualified Sam LB will be determined down the line, but the fact he’d be ready to play at all is surely welcome news for Greenlaw and the 49ers following the timing of such a devastating injury.

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