SANTA CLARA — So you’re saying there’s a chance.

Coach Kyle Shanahan said on Tuesday that linebacker Kwon Alexander has not been ruled out for a return during the playoffs but it’s a very slim chance. 

“He can come back,” Shanahan said. “Not to get you tweeting that out right away. It would be awesome if he could, but it’s a really big injury and that would be down the road. So there would be an outside chance at it, but we haven’t ruled it out." 

After tearing his pectoral muscle on Oct. 31 in Arizona, Alexander has been very visible around the team, and on the sidelines during games. He recently told Kendrick Bourne that he would be back in time for the playoffs. That news made its way back to Shanahan, who compared Alexander’s mentality to that of defensive back Richard Sherman. 

“Kwon, he’s the same as Sherman,” Shanahan said. “Kwon thought he could come back the next week. They are made of the right stuff. And when you think that way, even though it’s your mind, sometimes your body will follow. So we won’t rule it out but it’s a long shot and it’s not any time soon.” 

Shanahan did offer some good news that defensive back K’Waun Williams would return to practice this week along with Sherman. Williams has been in concussion protocol since going down Week 14 in New Orleans.


The news was not as positive for safety Jaquiski Tartt, who needs more time for his ribs to recover before returning to practice, and is listed as day-to-day. 

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Shanahan and the staff at times have had to protect players from themselves when they are coming back from injuries. The fact that Sherman says he is ready to play again does not faze his coach one bit. It's what he expects from the veteran cornerback. 

“We will see when we get out there,” Shanahan said. “Sherman has been better since he got into the locker room in New Orleans, according to him. And because he has that mindset is what gives him a chance to be better. So our trainers feel good about letting him go out there, it’s just a walkthrough. We will test it out more tomorrow.”