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Injury updates: Kinlaw has surgery to repair knee injury; Mullens had successful elbow surgery

Kinlaw had a routine cleanup procedure done. Mullens is expected to be fully recovered by training camp

Buffalo Bills v San Francisco 49ers Photo by Ralph Freso/Getty Images

San Francisco 49ers defensive tackle Javon Kinlaw posted a picture of him in a wheelchair on his Instagram:

Instantly, the overreactions poured in. My favorite was, “oh great; we drafted another player who is injury prone!”

Kinlaw missed the regular season's final two games after he suffered a bruised knee against the Cowboys. Here’s how The Athletic’s Matt Barrows described Kinlaw’s procedure:

“Javon Kinlaw had what was described as a routine ‘cleanup’ procedure on his right knee. The issue is not related to the tendinitis Kinlaw dealt with in college, a team spokesman said, and he is expected to be a full participant when the 49ers’ offseason program begins in the spring.”


If Kinlaw had surgery and it would prevent him from participating in any future team events or hold him out, the team would say something. I’m not going to say, “these procedures happen all of the time,” but they’re more common than we realize.

NFL Network’s Mike Garofolo tweeted that QB Nick Mullens underwent successful elbow surgery in late December, and the damage was not as extensive as initially feared. Mullens did not require Tommy John surgery, which means he won’t miss the 2021 season. Garafolo said Mullens is expected to be 100% recovered for the start of training camp.

Mullens will be a restricted free agent. The only quarterbacks under contract for San Francisco are Jimmy Garoppolo and Josh Johnson.