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49ers’ Kyle Shanahan expects George Kittle, Robbie Gould to return this week but notes ‘it’s not guaranteed’

Oct 31, 2021 at 3:29 PM--

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The San Francisco 49ers snapped their four-game losing streak on Sunday with a 33-22 victory over the Chicago Bears. Once again, Deebo Samuel was the team's leading receiver ... by a lot. His 171 receiving yards were more than all of his other teammates combined.

That probably doesn't come as a surprise. Samuel is having an impressive season and is on pace for nearly 2,000 receiving yards. That is a product of the third-year receiver clearly being quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo's most reliable target.

Some more reinforcements may be on the way. Head coach Kyle Shanahan was asked if the 49ers are still expecting to get tight end George Kittle and kicker Robbie Gould back this week.

"Yes, I'm expecting to," Shanahan hesitantly responded. "It's not guaranteed. But I'm expecting to and really hoping so, too."

Shanahan noted this past week that he is often hesitant to sound too optimistic about returning players because nothing is ever certain. He doesn't want reporters to take anything as an absolute when so many things could influence a recovery timeline.

San Francisco could use both Kittle and Gould in Week 9's matchup against the Arizona Cardinals. Shanahan said second-year wideout Brandon Aiyuk's performance against Chicago was his best of the season. Getting the YAC Bros — Samuel, Aiyuk, and Kittle — back together could be big for the 49ers offense.

While it ultimately didn't impact the game's result, kicker Joey Slye missed his second extra point of the season. He has been filling in for Gould, who suffered a groin injury on October 3. Slye was signed two days later.

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