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Golden Nuggets: An optimistic take on the Kwon Alexander injury

San Francisco 49ers links for Saturday November 2, 2019

San Francisco 49ers v Los Angeles Rams Photo by Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images

When the official word came down on Friday afternoon that linebacker Kwon Alexander had a torn pec and would miss the remainder of the season, it was devastating. For players, coaches, and fans.

Kwon has only been a member of the 49ers for a little over seven months, but in that short time he has quickly become the heart and soul of a defense that has gone from one of the worst in the league to one of the best in the span of a single season.

But amid all of the doom and gloom, Kwon himself posted about the injury on twitter:

And while I’m still incredibly disappointed that Kwon won’t be back on the field in 2019, his positive message and attitude are contagious, which lead me to look for a reason - any reason - to have optimism following this devastating loss.

And I found one: Jimmy Garoppolo

You can talk about numbers, you can talk about stats, you can talk about turnovers and ill advised throws, but the fact is Jimmy G went 5-0 in 2017 with a team far less talented than this one. No Kwon, no Bosa, no McGlinchey, no Richburg, no Coleman, no Warner, no Sherman, no Sanders, no Dee Ford. Kittle was there in 2017, but he wasn’t Kittle yet.

Shanahan was just getting his legs underneath him as a head coach in 2017 during that 5-0 streak, still in his first year. Saleh was in his first year as well.

Zane Beadles started 4 of those 5 games on the offensive line. Daniel Kilgore started all 5 at center.

Dontae Johnson was a starting corner.

And who was the starting WILL linebacker during that five game streak?

None other than Brock Coyle.

And with that lineup, Jimmy Garoppolo - in his first five starts with the 49ers and limited knowledge of the playbook - won 5 straight games against mostly quality opponents.

And now it’s 2019. Jimmy G is back under center, and he’s lead the 49ers to 8 straight wins.

He’s done nothing but win. Staley out? No problem. McGlinchey? Witherspoon? Juice? No problem.

And now Kwon Alexander is out. Make no mistake, it’s a huge loss. Aside from Jimmy himself and George Kittle it is probably the biggest loss the 49ers could suffer. There isn’t another linebacker on this roster that runs a 4.5 40. He’s impossible to replace.

But the question is, can the 49ers win without him?

And the answer is yes.

Jimmy Garoppolo has carried this team before. And he can do it again.

Kwon Alexander has chosen to be optimistic about a bad situation. He’s chosen to be positive. He’s chosen to lead by example.

And I, for one, intend to follow.

And now onto those links:

Which 49ers Stood Out in the Primetime Matchup vs. Cardinals? (Kelana Martin,

Seahawks-bound Josh Gordon too unreliable to join undefeated 49ers (Matt Maiocco, NBC Sports)

Seahawks claim WR Josh Gordon, who will make his Seattle debut vs. 49ers (David Bonilla, 49ers WebZone)

49ers’ Kwon Alexander after season-ending injury: ‘It’s all part of the game...I’ll be back’ (David Bonilla, 49ers WebZone)

Ross Dwelley trying to follow in George Kittle’s footsteps with 49ers (Jennifer Lee Chan, NBC Sports)

How 49ers can mitigate loss of linebacker Kwon Alexander (Akshaj Dwivedula, NinerNoise)

49ers Jimmy Garoppolo’s 4 touchdowns a career best in win vs. Cardinals (Peter Panacy, NinerNoise)

Who replaces injured LB Kwon Alexander for 49ers? (Kyle Madson, Niners Wire)

Report: George Kittle knee injury not serious (Kyle Madson, Niners Wire)

Around the NFL...

NFL fines Steelers, Tomlin for violating injury report policy (Jeremy Bergman,

Broncos place QB Joe Flacco (neck) on injured reserve (Kevin Patra,

Source: Steelers, Mike Tomlin fined for not disclosing Ben Roethlisberger’s injury (Brooke Pryor, ESPN)

Rookie QB Dwayne Haskins to make first start for Redskins (John Keim, ESPN)

Hilton will miss weeks with calf injury (Patrik Walker, CBS Sports)