Dre Greenlaw

Greenlaw's injury evoked heart-wrenching reaction from 49ers, Chiefs

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As painful as Dre Greenlaw’s Achilles injury appeared to be during Super Bowl LVIII on Sunday at Allegiant Stadium, it was as equally heart-wrenching for 49ers teammates and Kansas City Chiefs counterparts looking on.

With 9:16 remaining in the second quarter, the 49ers linebacker attempted to rush back onto the field for an upcoming defensive drive. 

In that same motion, as he planted his left foot down, Greenlaw tore his left Achilles, quickly falling on the field, yelling in considerable pain 

On the Super Bowl edition of "Inside the NFL," Patrick Mahomes, Kyle Shanahan, George Kittle and other 49ers players evidently were shocked by the 26-year-old’s gut-punching injury. 

“Ay! 57 got hurt. 57 got hurt over there,” Mahomes told Chiefs offensive coordinator Matt Nagy. 

Initially, there was total disbelief on the 49ers’ sideline. 

“No!,’ Fred Warner shouted.

“Did Dre just get hurt running out on the field?,” Shannahan asked in disbelief. 

“Did Dre just really tear his Achilles?,” Kittle asked teammates on the bench. “Well, that’s depressing.”

Sunday’s scoreboard reflected two different games before and after Greenlaw's injury. With Greenlaw on the field, San Francisco managed to keep Kansas City scoreless for more than a quarter into the game -- something that quickly changed in the second half.

"Inside the NFL’s" Chris Long expanded on how Greenlaw’s withdrawal from the 49ers’ defensive scheme played a huge role in Sunday’s outcome. 

“Yeah, Fred Warner’s reaction says it all,” Long said. “It’s not only his guy, but it’s one of the best players on defense.

“That tandem is such a game changer. It gave the Chiefs a little bit of air, you know, a little bit of breathing room on first and second down. 

“He’s great in the run, in the box, but he’s also good in coverage. And Oren Burks, who really started two games this year, if you don’t count Week 18, that’s Minnesota and Cleveland, that’s a big drop-off there.

“Nothing against the guy, but Dre Greenlaw is a difference-maker.” 

Now, the hope for San Francisco is Greenlaw can recover and come back next season as the difference maker he’s been for the Red and Gold.

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