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Kwon Alexander reportedly working toward coming back in the playoffs

Players on injured reserve are still eligible to return during the playoffs

Carolina Panthers v San Francisco 49ers Photo by Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images

We’ve been talking about the San Francisco 49ers and their options on who can return from injured reserve to play again this season. According to NBC Sports’ Matt Maiocco, linebacker Kwon Alexander is working toward coming back during the playoffs. Maiocco said the 49ers haven’t completely ruled Alexander’s return out. You are allowed to have two players return from the injured reserve in a season. Kentavius Street was one, and the Niners still can bring another player back. Could that be Kwon?

Alexander tore his pectoral muscle on November 1. Generally speaking, that injury takes six months to recover. My buddy Seth Cox from Revenge of the Birds is in the medical field, so I reached out to him, wondering how Alexander can return. Here’s what he had to say:

There is a harness they can wear if it isn’t completely torn off the bone. If it’s less than 50% torn, then it can be played with and not rupture (meaning tear off the bone.) So he may be at 80% and able to wear the harness and restrict the movement to make sure it doesn’t rupture.

Seth also joked that if a player is returning, they may be taking steroids something to give them an extra boost. That’s pretty fascinating, though. I won’t pretend to be anything close to a doctor, so that I would have never thought about this.

Alexander has been on the practice field running around:

You always worry about what happens long-term in this scenario. If it does tear, we’re looking at a reset and another six months before Alexander can return to action. Is it worth it? You don’t get the opportunity for a playoff run often. Alexander is somehow only 25-years old, but in four seasons with Tampa Bay, he didn’t appear in the playoffs once. You know Kwon has to be itching to get back out there with his teammates. Does the risk outweigh the reward? That’ll be a decision Alexander has to make.

Kyle Shanahan met with the media Tuesday morning and described Alexander’s chances of returning as a “long shot,” but Shanahan also said that there’s an “outside chance” it happens. The head coach mentioned how Alexander was ready to come back the next week if he could.

“It’s a really big injury and that would be down the road. They’re[Alexander and Sherman] made of the right stuff. When you think that way, even though it’s your mind, sometimes your body will follow. So we won’t rule it out, but it’s a long shot and not any time soon.”