49ers expect Kwon Alexander to start at weakside linebacker

49ers expect Kwon Alexander to start at weakside linebacker
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USA TODAY Sports

Kwon Alexander started the first eight games at weakside linebacker last season before tearing a pectoral muscle. Dre Greenlaw stepped in and made the defensive play of the season for the 49ers, a tackle that clinched the NFC West title.

When Alexander returned for the postseason, he played the strongside spot and Greenlaw remained at weakside.

Alexander, though, will get his job back, coach Kyle Shanahan said Sunday.

“We compete all the time, so no one just has a job set in stone, but I don’t see that as open competition right now,” Shanahan said, via Matt Maiocco of NBCSportsBayArea.com. “We brought Kwon here for a reason. He did exactly what we wanted when he was out there and did even more than we anticipated from a leadership standpoint.

“Kwon has been great here.”

The 49ers signed Alexander to a four-year, $54 million contract at the start of free agency in 2019. Alexander, 26, made 34 tackles, an interception, half a sack and four pass breakups in eight games.

Greenlaw made 92 tackles, three passes defensed, a sack and interception during his rookie season.

“That’s not taking anything away from Dre. He had a hell of a rookie year,” Shanahan said. “The more he got his opportunities, the better he got. But we’ve got a few good guys there, and we see that as Kwon’s job right now.”

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