These familiar former 49ers get to square off vs. San Francisco in 2024

These former 49ers players will see action against their old team this season.
Las Vegas Raiders quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo
Las Vegas Raiders quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo / Cooper Neill/GettyImages

Change is inevitable, and players going from one team to another is just a part of how the NFL landscape works.

As tough as it can be saying farewell to some players, the only thing that's worse is if they come back and haunt their former squads in a big way during a game.

With the San Francisco 49ers' 2024 regular-season schedule being released, some games will feature familiar faces; players who used to don the red and gold.

Here is a look at the games that will pit former Niners against their old team this year.

Week 1: Javon Kinlaw 'jets' back to San Francisco

In the opening game of the season, a former San Francisco first-round NFL Draft pick comes back to Levi Stadium.

However, he will be wearing a new jersey.

Defensive tackle Javon Kinlaw left the 49ers in free agency this offseason. Instead of returning to the NFC champions' roster, he elected to sign with the New York Jets.

In his four years playing for San Francisco, Kinlaw had 70 total tackles and five sacks. He missed significant time in both 2021 and 2022 because of injuries, though.

The former University of South Carolina footballer regained his presence on the defense last year, and Kinlaw played in all 17 games during his final Niners season.

Now, he joins head coach Robert Saleh, also a former 49ers staffer.

While the Jets have quarterbackAaron Rodgers under center, he is not throwing to the likes of Niners wide receivers like Brandon Aiyuk or Deebo Samuel (also a former Gamecock with Kinlaw) or tight end George Kittle. Nor does Kinlaw's new team have an elite dual-threat running back in Christian McCaffrey.

Week 1 should be a moment for this former 49er player.

Week 2: Sam Darnold starts for the Vikings

Quarterback Sam Darnold, also a former Jet, is now a former 49er, too. He signed a one-year deal with the Minneseota Vikings in hopes to become a starting quarterback in the NFL again. Despite the Vikings drafting former Michigan signal-caller J.J. McCarthy last April, Darnold could easily be the guy in year one for Minnesota.

With now-Atlanta Falcons quarterback Kirk Cousins leaving Minnesota in free agency, the Vikings bagged themselves what they think is a capable hurler to connect with wideout Justin Jefferson.

Starting in place of the Niners' own quarterback in Week 18 last year, Brock Purdy, Darnold quite possibly auditioned for his new team. He threw for 189 yards on 16 of 26 passes while recording one touchdown and zero interceptions.

While Darnold only backed up Purdy for one season, the third overall pick of the 2018 draft will play host to his 2023 team.

The Niners will travel to the Twin Cities for their second game of the year.

Week 4: Former 49ers wide receiver to revisit Bay Area

Wide receiver Kendrick Bourne played his first four years with the 49ers, originally joining as an undrafted free agent before carving out a solid role with the Niners offense. He left three seasons ago to play for the New England Patriots.

In Week 4, when the Pats visit, the seven-year veteran makes his return to San Francisco. While on the 49ers, Bourne caught 137 receptions for 1,769 yards and 11 touchdowns.

A San Francisco secondary that fields both Charvarius Ward and Ji'Ayir Brown look to give Bourne fits downfield.

Weeks 3 and 15: Jimmy G 'could' face 49ers again

Not just once this season, but twice, the 49ers will face another former quarterback from their past. Following his release from the Las Vegas Raiders, Jimmy Garoppolo signed a one-year deal to play backup to Matthew Stafford and the Los Angeles Rams.

Garoppolo played in 57 games during his lengthy stint as a Niner. He threw for 13,599 yards while recording 82 touchdowns and 42 interceptions.

Also a former Patriot, Garoppolo failed to have a high level of success in the playoffs for San Francisco, while injuries also clouded his time donning the red and gold.

The 49ers would move on from him and hand over the keys to the castle to Purdy. So far, so good, as San Francisco finally seems to have its long-term answer undre center with the latter.

Though Jimmy G is suspended for the first two games of the NFL season because of an offseason PED violation, that won't prevent him from potentially seeing action against the team he called home for six seasons.

It remains to be seen if Garoppolo will be on the field or the sidelines when the 49ers play their in-state division rival both times this season.

Read more from Niner Noise