The San Francisco 49ers are coming off a tough loss on Sunday, but there is one positive heading into Week 5. Outside linebacker Aaron Lynch will return from his four week suspension. Lynch was suspended for violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy, claiming it was due to a diluted urine sample he provided.
Lynch is currently on the Reserve/Suspended list, and the team will have to activate him off that list. Teams sometimes get a roster exemption for a week while the player returns to practice and gets back up to speed. This is a short week, but I would expect the 49ers to activate him for Thursday’s game. I don’t expect him to get a full workload against the Cardinals, but at the very least he would get some special teams work, and could very well get rotated in on passing downs.
The 49ers pass rush has been inconsistent at best thus far this season. Ahmad Brooks has had his moments, and Arik Armstead and DeForest Buckner have done some things. But overall, it remains a problem area. The return of Lynch won’t cure all that ails it, but he is the most talented pass rusher on the team. And this defense needs all the help it can get in light of NaVorro Bowman’s potentially season-ending injury.