Kwon Alexander returns to 49ers practice as team opens return window


Kwon Alexander is back at 49ers practice. A return shouldn’t be possible after he tore his right pectoral against the Arizona Cardinals on October 31 and was placed on injured reserve at the start of November after undergoing surgery. He still may not return, but according to the 49ers, his three-week practice return window has been opened, and the seemingly impossible return now looks within reason.

Alexander returned along with Jaquiski Tartt, wearing blue non-contact jerseys in the warmup, for the opening portion of 49ers practice. Tartt has been sidelined since fracturing his rib against the Baltimore Ravens on December 1, but, along with Dee Ford, who re-aggravated his hamstring strain against the New Orleans Saints on December 8 (was not on hand at the start of Thursday’s practice), has a good chance to play in the Divisional Round next week.

“I’m hoping for it and I am feeling optimistic about it,” head coach Kyle Shanahan said Monday of Tartt and Ford. “You never know with how those things go with the ribs and with the hamstring, but that was the goal. We knew there could be a slight chance this week if we were playing this week, so getting this Bye week should make it an even better chance then.”

Shanahan was cautiously optimistic about Alexander, saying that he may be able to play in the NFC Championship game if the 49ers get there. The opening of his practice window means that no other 49ers can return from injured reserve.

“He’s coming along. There’s definitely going to be a chance,” Shanahan said. “I don’t think that will be this week, but if we’re fortunate enough to win our first game, I think he could have a chance after that. We’re still holding out hope for that, but we’ll see how it goes over these next couple weeks.”

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