49ers players never have seen a training camp like what they're currently experiencing amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Unique health and safety protocols, a lack of spectators and minimal media access has lessened the typical excitement that comes with the first few weeks of an NFL training camp. But according to 49ers general manager John Lynch, two players have stood out in terms of bringing plenty of energy early in training camp.
"I guess I'd say guys like Kwon Alexander and George Kittle, their energy, what they bring is even COVID-proof," Lynch told The Athletic's Tim Kawakami on "The TK Show." "It's palpable amongst the team and they love playing football. I mention those two guys because they stand out in terms of that to me, but we've got a lot of guys who just really love the game and have fun doing it.
"Our coaching staff does a tremendous job of encouraging them to be themselves, to have fun playing the game, and I think that's important."
The entirety of the 49ers roster has no problem enjoying their successes on the field, but Kittle and Alexander's energy certainly has stood out in the past. Kittle's penchant for piledriving defenders in the open field always gets teammates off their feet, and Kwon has quite a reputation for bone-crushing hits of his own.
Both players missed time in 2019 with injuries, as Alexander tore his pectoral muscle midseason and Kittle fought through a nagging ankle injury. The way teammates discussed the two while they were out, and the visible giddiness from the locker room when both returned to the lineup shows just how valuable their spirit is to the team's psyche.
With Kittle now locked up on a record-breaking contract extension, and Alexander signed up for at least three more seasons in Santa Clara, Lynch won't have to worry about a lack of vitality from his group each week as long as these two occupy the 49ers locker room.