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Kyle Shanahan still hoping Jimmy Garoppolo and George Kittle can make late-season returns for 49ers

Dec 1, 2020 at 11:35 AM

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Kyle Shanahan is still holding out hope that two of his stars — quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo and tight end George Kittle — can make late-season returns. Of course, the San Francisco 49ers will need to be playing for something for either's return to be worth it.

These next few games are critical for the 49ers' playoff hopes. That begins on Monday night when the team hosts the Buffalo Bills at its temporary home, State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona.

Shanahan initially hoped to get Garoppolo back by Week 15. However, the coach sounds more optimistic about a Garoppolo and Kittle return for the final one or two games.

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"I think they're in a similar boat with that," Shanahan told reporters via Zoom on Tuesday. "That's not guaranteed. It's how they react over here the next couple of weeks. But they're just starting to get into where they can get on the field and not with us, but on their own and do some stuff. That's hopefully going to be the last couple of weeks, whether it's two games or one game or none."

Garoppolo is recovering from his second high-ankle sprain of the season, while Kittle is recovering from a break in his cuboid bone in his foot.

The 49ers are 5-6 and still sit in last place within the NFC West. However, their Week 12 win over the Los Angeles Rams, and a loss by the Arizona Cardinals, has narrowed the gap.

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