SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS
49ers Tight End George Kittle Out For Week 1 in Chicago | Update
Sep 9, 2022, 1:58 PM | Updated: Sep 11, 2022, 8:54 am
(Photo by Logan Riely/Getty Images)
Update Sunday Morning
George Kittle has officially been ruled out for the 49ers season opener against the Chicago Bears.
Week 1 @DignityHealth inactives https://t.co/AHqqoAALdS pic.twitter.com/SxjDOcrfCo
— San Francisco 49ers (@49ers) September 11, 2022
The 49ers may be heading to the Windy City with another man down after it was announced Pro-Bowl tight end George Kittle is entering Week 1 in Chicago as questionable.
The news was confirmed by head coach Kyle Shanahan during his press conference Friday.
“[Center Daniel] Brunskill will be out and [George] Kittle is questionable,” Shanahan said.
Kittle has been dealing with a groin issue sustained during Monday’s practice. After missing Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday’s sessions to receive treatment, the likelihood of him playing seems to have dwindled.
The way Shanahan has discussed this Kittle situation since Wednesday has given the “he’s not playing” vibe.
Should be a big opportunity for Tyler Kroft, an established vet https://t.co/DUh7agf9L7
— David Lombardi (@LombardiHimself) September 9, 2022
“I don’t know yet,” Shanahan said Friday morning on KNBR. “I’m really hoping it will be all right. I’m trying to think positively on it. He didn’t end up getting to go yesterday . . . but they’ll hit him hard [today]. They’ll do it all morning, and hopefully, he’ll be able to get out there and do some red zone work today.”
Unfortunately, Kittle did not see the field Friday and thus is likely to not suit up in Week 1 against the Bears. Thankfully the 49ers prepared for such an occasion, holding three other tight ends — Tyler Kroft, Ross Dwelley, and Charlie Woerner — on the 53-man roster.
Kroft is the newest member of the group, coming over from the New York Jets during the offseason. Currently listed as No.2 on the depth chart, Sunday’s matchup will be a big opportunity for the veteran, possibly earning some more reps down the line.
“I’m glad we kept four [tight ends]. I mean just with Kittle getting banged up this Week. You know we rarely carry four in the game so we’ll see how that goes, but if Kittle can’t make it I’m glad that we kept an extra one on our roster,” Shanahan stated.
Kittle has been hit with the injury bug over the last few years, landing on short-term IR last season with a calf strain in Week 3. Now entering the year less than 100% again, many speculate if the team should just keep him on the bench until Week 3 against the Denver Broncos.
At this point, I think the #49ers should be focused on trying to make sure George Kittle is healthy for Week 3 in Denver.
More important to have him healthy for the long run.
In the mean time, it’s opportunities for Tyler Kroft, Ross Dwelley and Charlie Woerner.
— Akash Anavarathan (@akashanav) September 9, 2022
Assuming Kittle is out for Week 1, he’ll have missed 14 of the team’s last 42 regular season games (33%)
— Al Sacco (@AlSacco49) September 8, 2022
The former All-Pro pass-catcher has been one of the premier players at the position since entering the league in 2017, registering 335 catches, 4489 yards, and 20 TDs in a five-year span.
UPDATE: George Kittle tells The Athletic’s David Lombardi that he’s “feeling significantly better” with his groin injury than he did earlier in the week and “will do everything [he] can” to play against the Bears Sunday.
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