By kickoff, the wet weather had taken the place as the main headline when the 49ers were to face the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday night at Levi's Stadium.
However, DeForest Buckner's return to the Bay Area was what everyone was talking about all week long. Following his Colts' 30-18 win over the 49ers, Buckner admitted this win meant more to him than others.
“Yeah, I mean, this win meant a lot," Buckner said. "I know the guys didn’t want to talk about it a whole lot throughout the week. We showed up. Guys had my back and everybody showed up for prime time and we got this win.
"It was definitely personal for me, you know? I wasn’t trying to get too high or too low throughout the week, but it meant a lot.”
The 49ers selected Buckner with the No. 7 overall pick in the 2016 NFL Draft. He spent his first four seasons with San Francisco, was named to the Pro Bowl in 2018 and became a team leader in the locker room. But right when he was due to get paid, the 49ers decided to trade him to the Colts on March 16, 2020, for the No. 13 overall pick in the draft.
All week leading up the 49ers' clash with Buckner and the Colts, the star defensive lineman made it clear he wanted to keep playing in San Francisco. He tried to meet in the middle with the 49ers' front office and thought they could come up with a reasonable contract. The 49ers thought otherwise.
Buckner learned the harsh reality of business in the NFL, and the 49ers have paid for it. The 27-year-old was named an All-Pro last season and finished his first game against the 49ers with five tackles -- one for loss -- one sack and one QB hit.
"It was just a big moment," Buckner said of the win and being cheered by both Colts and 49ers fans. "Life went full circle, I like to say. This will be a great plane ride back, for sure.”
Javon Kinlaw, who the 49ers took with the draft pick they got from the Colts, was inactive as he continues to deal with a lingering knee injury.