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Dre Greenlaw will miss 6-8 weeks as he undergoes surgery to repair a groin injury

Expect Azeez Al-Shaair to take Greenlaw’s place, and Demetrius Flannigan-Fowles to potentially play SAM linebacker on base downs.

San Francisco 49ers v Detroit Lions Photo by Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images

Per The Athletic’s Matt Barrows, San Francisco 49ers linebacker Dre Greenlaw is having a procedure to repair a groin injury. Greenlaw will miss 4-6 weeks and be placed on the injured reserve, per Barrows.

NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport said Greenlaw would miss 6-8 weeks, though:

Azeez Al-Shaair, who played well on Sunday, will take over for Greenlaw at WILL. Demetrius Flannigan-Fowles will now play SAM.

Greenlaw’s injury explains why the 49ers signed LB Curtis Bolton on Tuesday.

Greenlaw’s speed was part of what made the 49ers' defense so special. He had six tackles against the Lions. He allowed four completions, but only for an average of 4.2 yards per target with a passer rating of 44.6, the lowest on the team Week 1.

You can’t replace the closing speed of Greenlaw, but Al-Shaair is a far more physical player and wasn’t a slouch in coverage, either, against the Lions. Al-Shaair only allowed two completions on four targets for a total of five yards. He had one hit that jarred the ball loose from a Lions receiver.

It’s unfortunate that the injuries keep mounting for the 49ers. The Niners' depth continues to be tested, and they haven’t played their second game yet. Remember, the team traded Jonas Griffith to the Broncos and lost Justin Hilliard on waivers to the Giants. What was once a deep position group is now awfully thin.