49ers Linebacker Discusses Devastating Super Bowl Injury

49ers Star Faces Emotional Struggle After Serious Injury.

by Nouman Rasool
49ers Linebacker Discusses Devastating Super Bowl Injury
© Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

San Francisco 49ers linebacker Dre Greenlaw candidly discussed the emotional and physical toll of his Achilles injury during a revealing interview on the "49ers Talk" podcast with NBC Sports Bay Area's Matt Maiocco. The injury, which occurred during Super Bowl LVIII, not only sidelined him during one of the most critical moments of his career but also deeply affected him personally.

During the game, as the 49ers faced off against the Kansas City Chiefs in a nail-biting match that extended into overtime, ending in a 25-22 loss, Greenlaw suffered a torn left Achilles. This injury happened just as he was gearing up to enter the field in the second quarter following a possession change.

Reflecting on the incident, Greenlaw shared, "Sometimes you get a little flashback and shed a couple of tears thinking about it”. At 26, Greenlaw had established himself as a cornerstone of the 49ers' defense, which is renowned for its stellar lineup.

Last season, he ranked second on the team in combined tackles (120), solo (75), and assisted tackles (45), trailing only behind All-Pro linebacker Fred Warner. His stats were impressive, with five tackles for loss, four quarterback hits, four passes defensed, and 1.5 sacks, despite missing two games.

Greenlaw's Playoff Heroics

Greenlaw's playoff performance was even more remarkable, particularly during the Niners' divisional-round victory over the Green Bay Packers. Despite nursing a right Achilles issue that week, he led the game in tackles (eight) and passes defensed (two) and intercepted Packers quarterback Jordan Love twice.

“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 expressed. “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." The linebacker also recounted the initial confusion and despair he felt at the moment of the injury, mistakenly thinking it was his right Achilles that had been compromised due to previous issues.

“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," he recalled. "I took that step and that's when I had no power on my leg, no nothing.

... It was kind of dead." As Greenlaw faces the challenging road to recovery, his resolve and the support of his team remain steadfast, highlighting not just the physical demands of professional sports, but also the mental and emotional resilience required to overcome such setbacks.

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