Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports


49ers’ Kyle Shanahan reveals what went wrong with George Kittle’s injury

Oct 11, 2021 at 9:14 AM--


George Kittle was not able to practice last week. Despite being listed as "doubtful," there remained hope that the San Francisco 49ers tight end might be able to play this past Sunday in rookie quarterback Trey Lance's first NFL start.

"Everything's focused on this Sunday, and George is working his tail off to be there," general manager John Lynch said last week. "If not, it's nice that we do have a bye, and we're hopeful that time can allow him to heal enough to really lick this thing and put it behind us so he can get back in there at practice."

Kittle won't return after the bye against the Indianapolis Colts. He won't return for the next game, a road matchup against the Chicago Bears. The earliest he can return is for Week 9 against the Arizona Cardinals. That's because San Francisco placed the All-Pro tight end on injured reserve this past weekend, forcing him to sit out three games (not just three weeks).

What changed between this past week when there was hope that Kittle could play on Sunday to placing him on injured reserve on Saturday?

"Yeah, it just got a lot worse," head coach Kyle Shanahan said after the game. "On those, you can't really -- there wasn't an exact diagnosis on it, so we were expecting it to heal, with some of the results that guys had told us. And in the last couple of days, it got so much worse that we started to look at it a different way, and that's why we had to shut him down."

Whoever starts at quarterback next — Lance or Jimmy Garoppolo — they'll be without Kittle for the rest of the month. Hopefully, for the 2-3 49ers' sake, the tight end can get back to 100 percent and help his team down the stretch.





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