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Richard Sherman: Javon Kinlaw is expected back next week

San Francisco 49ers v Denver Broncos Photo by Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images

It’s pretty hard to imagine the 49ers' defense getting any better than they are right now, but they may be about to reach new heights.

During this week’s episode of The Richard Sherman Podcast, the former 49ers corner shared what he’s heard about Javon Kinlaw from his sources in San Francisco.

“From what I understand talking to the 49ers players and staff is that Javon Kinlaw is expected back next week,” Sherman said.

We haven’t seen Kinlaw on the field since the Broncos game in Week 3, and he was subsequently placed on injured reserve in Week 6 after experiencing pain in his surgically-repaired knee.

Kyle Shanahan said on Friday that the team expects to open Kinlaw’s practice window this week, assuming his rehab continues to go well - which, as we’ve seen, is no sure thing.

Given all of the injuries the 49ers have suffered along the interior of their defensive line, anything Kinlaw could give them down the stretch would be much appreciated, especially if it’s anything close to what we saw earlier this season.

An extended stretch of solid play from Kinlaw would improve an already stout run defense while also making life easier for everyone else along the defensive front. With three games to go before the playoffs, this could be the perfect opportunity to ramp Javon up before the playoff games start in January.

Hear more about this and other stories in today’s 49ers in Five podcast. Our five-minute daily update gives you the latest news, best audio clips, and everything else you need to know about the team. Subscribe to the Niners Nation Podcast Network today, so you don’t miss an episode!