49ers won't face familiar Chiefs defensive weapon in Super Bowl

Charles Omenihu can boast of having played for both teams in Super Bowl LVIII.

But he won't actually be playing on Super Bowl Sunday.

Kansas City Chiefs defensive end Charles Omenihu
Kansas City Chiefs defensive end Charles Omenihu / Ryan Kang/GettyImages

Charles Omenihu, who helped the 49ers reach the NFC Championship two years prior, tore his ACL in the Chiefs' AFC Championship win to make the Super Bowl.

The San Francisco 49ers can be credited with helping defensive end Charles Omenihu's career, which was floundering in obscurity with what was a lowly Houston Texans team entering the 2021 season.

Prior to the NFL trade deadline that year, the Niners pulled off a trade for the former fifth-round draft pick out of the University of Texas, which flew under the radar but definitely reinforced the notion that San Francisco focuses a lot of resources on its defensive line.

For the rest of 2021, Omenihu registered six tackles and a quarterback hit in a rotational role. Seeing an uptick in playing time the following year, Omenihu managed what was then a career-high 4.5 sacks and tied a personal best with 16 quarterback hits.

That output led to Omenihu inking an offseason free-agent deal with the Kansas City Chiefs, who planned on featuring him in a more prominent role entering 2023.

Surely enough, Omenihu delivered with seven sacks and two forced fumbles over 11 regular-season games.

Now, with KC poised to face his former team in the Super Bowl, the 49ers, Omenihu unfortunately won't have the luxury of being on the field.

49ers won't face Charles Omenihu after serious injury in AFC Championship

The Chiefs pulled off a road victory over the Baltimore Ravens in the AFC Championship game, but it wasn't without loss.

As reported by Bleacher Report's Jordan Schultz, Omenihu suffered a torn ACL during the game that'll not only keep him from appearing in Super Bowl LVIII against San Francisco but will also endanger his ability to be ready for the start of the 2024 season next fall:

Omenihu was a key reason why KC's defense ranked second best in scoring during the regular season, and his presence will be missed against the 49ers.

That said, Omenihu will be able to offer some tidbits about how the Niners go about their own defensive efforts, and he'll probably try to point out specific weaknesses about San Francisco's offensive line and it's blocking, too.

From the 49ers' vantage point, they won't be facing Omenihu on the field but will certainly enjoy seeing him postgame.

Super Bowl LVIII kicks off on Sunday, Feb. 11 at 6:30 p.m. ET from Las Vegas, Nevada.

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