Photo courtesy of the San Francisco 49ers

Photo courtesy of the San Francisco 49ers

‘We have a lot of guys who can step up’: George Kittle shares honest thoughts on 49ers’ injuries

Sep 16, 2021 at 1:41 PM--

Next man up, as they say. The San Francisco 49ers are being tested early this season. Earlier this week, the team learned that it was losing starting cornerback Jason Verrett for the season after the defender suffered a torn ACL during Week 1. After that, it was revealed that the 49ers would be without running back Raheem Mostert for the remainder of the year. He will undergo season-ending knee surgery.

That's a significant contributor on each side of the football. Another significant loss was revealed today. However, that one is not believed to be season-ending. More on that in a moment because before that report surfaced, All-Pro tight end George Kittle shared his thoughts on the injury issues that seem to be plaguing the 49ers early.

Yes, every team deals with injuries. However, the Niners had a league-leading number of them last season, and the expectation was that this year's squad could be much-improved if it can manage to stay relatively healthy. Losing two starters for the rest of the year is not a good start.

How do the 49ers avoid a "here we go again" mindset?

"It's something that we experienced as a team last year, and I think that last year was a little bit more, to the extent of [having] so many guys out at once, especially like after Week 2," Kittle told reporters. "So guys are like, 'Hey, we're not going to go down that road again.' Guys have been very adamant on their 'prehab,' their body-maintenance stuff. I think guys are on top of all their injuries and whatever we're dealing with right now.

"I think we have a very healthy team right now. We have a very confident team. The two injuries that we did have are absolutely brutal, and they're two of our best players on the team, but I think we have a lot of guys who can step up and make those plays."

Now, Kittle said this before news broke that the 49ers would also be without linebacker Dre Greenlaw for an extended period of time. During this past weekend's game against the Detroit Lions, he suffered a core muscle injury, will undergo surgery to repair the damage, and will reportedly miss six to eight weeks.

That's another starter who will be out of the lineup, and the losses have fans concerned. After all, last season's health struggles resulted in a six-win campaign, and the 49ers have division championship and playoff aspirations.

This weekend, we'll find out if the 49ers can overcome the personnel losses when the team takes on the Philadelphia Eagles.

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