Dre Greenlaw on Super Bowl injury: 'Feels like you left everybody hanging'

Dre Greenlaw admitted how tough it has been coming to terms with the torn Achilles he suffered in the middle of the Super Bowl last February.
San Francisco 49ers linebacker Dre Greenlaw (57)
San Francisco 49ers linebacker Dre Greenlaw (57) / Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Dre Greenlaw broke the silence about his devastating Super Bowl injury and explained the lingering effects, both mental and physical.

The momentum in Super Bowl LVIII wholly shifted in favor of the Kansas City Chiefs after San Francisco 49ers star linebacker Dre Greenlaw suffered a horrible non-contact Achilles tear running back onto the field.

While the game entered a back-and-forth phase that extended into overtime, KC nevertheless took full advantage of Greenlaw's absence.

And it's been a fair question whether or not the outcome would have been different if Greenlaw didn't suffer the injury. The Niners' former defensive coordinator, now-Houston Texans head coach DeMeco Ryans, felt that San Francisco would have likely won the Super Bowl if Greenlaw wasn't forced out of the game.

We'll never know.

The long-term implications of Greenlaw's injury remain, though, and the linebacker shared with NBC Sports Bay Area's Matt Maiocco that he still has a tough time coming to terms with what happened in the final game of last season.

Dre Greenlaw says 'you just try not to cry' when thinking about Achilles injury

Speaking on Maiocco's 49ers Talk Podcast, Greenlaw opened up about the specific nature of the injury, his rehabilitation and just how tough it has been to accept what happened in the most important game of his life.

"It’s definitely an emotional thing because you know how hard you worked for that moment, how hard your team worked to get in that moment," Greenlaw told Maiocco. "You’re that close to it and you can’t go out there and compete.

"So it just kind of feels like you left everybody hanging."

There's a video from NFL Films that shows Greenlaw going down on the field, followed by Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes pointing out to his teammates and saying, "No. 57 is down."

Mahomes and the rest of the KC offense then proceeded to target Greenlaw's on-field replacement, linebacker Oren Burks, with great success.

"It's one of the things that you just kind of think about and you just try not to cry," Greenlaw continued when considering the significance of his injury and absence.

Greenlaw also admitted he originally thought the injury was his right Achilles, noting that he was having problems with that leg all season long. But, when he went down, it was his left Achilles that was the real injury.

Now, following surgery and months of rehabilitation, Greenlaw is eager to get back on the field and resume playing.

But he knows that it's still going to be a process, and there's a good chance he won't be ready for the start of the 49ers' upcoming 2024 campaign.

"When I feel like I can go out there and I really contribute and bring everything I got, I'm just going to do that every game," Greenlaw continued. "I don't know if it's going to be two, three, five, six, eight or 10 [games].

"But when I do get the opportunity, I'm just going to play like it's the Super Bowl every game."

You can check out Maiocco's full podcast with Greenlaw below:

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