Katie Stratman-USA TODAY Sports

Katie Stratman-USA TODAY Sports

49ers’ George Kittle dealt with ‘excessive soreness’ vs. Bengals; Fred Warner gets a scare

Dec 12, 2021 at 6:21 PM--

San Francisco 49ers fans got a bit of a scare on Sunday. No, I'm not talking about the game itself, which was an emotional rollercoaster. The Niners ended up with the win in overtime. However, seeing the team's All-Pro tight end, George Kittle, a little hobbled in the fourth quarter was concerning.

Kittle remained in the game and continued making big plays in overtime. The tight end led the team with 151 receiving yards and a touchdown on 13 receptions. It was his second consecutive game of 150-or-more receiving yards and his fourth time reaching that mark during his career.

But if Kittle were injured, that would hurt the 49ers' playoff chances. After the game, the tight end spoke with reporters and assured everyone that he was fine.

"It was more of an aggravation," Kittle said. "This turf is like playing on cement. So that's kind of what it was. When you have catches, and you get tackled, you just get sore. I mean, I'm fine. Nothing to worry about. It's excessive soreness, I would say."

Head coach Kyle Shanahan was asked about Kittle's discomfort late in the game.

"Yeah, Kittle goes until he can't," Shanahan responded, per Kirk Larrabee. "You could tell a little bit on that last drive, I think is when it started acting [up]. I want to say it was the last drive of the fourth quarter is when it started acting up more.

"He came out for a couple of plays, made it back in for the corner route that he caught at the end to get us into field goal range, then just him on the last drive battling through that. Hopefully, he's alright, but we'll see tomorrow."

Kittle's quarterback, Jimmy Garoppolo, knows that everyone is dealing with something at this point in the season. But with the postseason around the corner and the 49ers still fighting for a playoff spot, players will have to push through if they can.

"[Kittle] was fighting through it tonight," Garoppolo told reporters. "That turf wasn't very friendly for us, but he was fighting through it, some other guys were fighting through injuries."

Linebacker Fred Warner appears to be fine, too, so that is more good news on another 49ers star player. He briefly exited the game with what appeared to be a leg injury. However, he was able to return.

"Yeah, it was one of those situations where I think I just stepped on [Talanoa Hufanga]'s foot or somebody's foot," Warner said. "And so my ankle just kind of rolled a funny way. The initial feeling was like, 'Whoa.' It was more like a scary-thing-type deal. And then once I knew I was fine, we just taped it up, and I was good to go back out."

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