49ers GM Lynch quips Kinlaw's pick-six came due to fatigue


49ers rookie Javon Kinlaw's pick-six in last week's win over the Los Angeles Rams was one of the highlights of the day, but as general manager John Lynch told KNBR on Thursday, the team would rather the first-round pick be sacking the quarterback than trying to intercept him.

"I think Javon's was more a byproduct of him coming off the COVID list, hadn't practiced. He was tired," Lynch quipped on KNBR's "Tolbert, Krueger & Brooks" show (h/t 49ers WebZone). "So he said, 'I'm going to stand back here and cherry-pick.' And I think that's really what it was. He was tired.

"We talked to him about that because I think Javon is extremely athletic, and every now and then, he likes to show that. I said, 'We drafted you to get after the quarterback, not to play defensive back.' We're working on that."

Kinlaw has 1.5 sacks on the season, and got his first career interception Sunday after spending just over a week on the 49ers' reserve/COVID-19 list. The South Carolina product didn't miss any games, as he was added to the list during the 49ers' bye week.

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Lynch said Kinlaw boasted about his coverage skills following the win over the Rams at SoFi Stadium, but the former Hall of Fame safety reiterated his desire to see Kinlaw get after the quarterback.


"But when he makes a play like that, the first thing he said in the locker room was, 'See? I keep telling you,' " Lynch continued. "I said, 'You keep rushing, man. You keep rushing.'"

There's no questioning Kinlaw's athleticism after his return against the Rams, but Lynch clearly would like to see the former No. 14 overall pick rack up some more sacks and QB pressures.

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