Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports


49ers-Rams: Kyle Shanahan says George Kittle is healthier, ready to ‘make some plays’

Jan 27, 2022 at 12:57 PM--


Tight end George Kittle caught four passes for 63 yards against the Green Bay Packers this past weekend. That followed a one-catch, 18-yard performance against the Dallas Cowboys a week earlier. Kittle is getting healthier with each passing week, which could mean the tight end is poised for a big game.

This season, Kittle was on injured reserve for nearly a month due to a calf injury. He finished the season with 71 receptions for 910 yards and a career-high six touchdowns.

Kittle is one of the more energetic personalities in the 49ers locker room. That energy carries over to game days. That would mean nothing if Kittle couldn't produce and help his team.

"We love George and everything off the field, but what he does the most is on the field," head coach Kyle Shanahan said before Thursday's practice. "Because the energy that you see off [the field], that doesn't help unless you have that same energy on the field.

"What's cool is you can see it off the field and on the field, and that's what you miss in not just the games that George missed [while] hurt, but even when he came back, he wasn't totally himself for a while. He's had to battle through a lot of stuff this year, and I think he's kind of getting there."

Kittle caught five receptions for 10 yards the last time the 49ers and Rams clashed—a Week 18 Niners win at SoFi Stadium. However, there is reason to believe the tight end could be more productive in this next meeting between the two rivals.

"I think he started to get a little healthier by the Seattle game, had a couple of setbacks, and now I think, in the playoffs these last two weeks, I thought he's gotten healthier than how he finished versus the Rams," Shanahan said. "When George is going and feeling good, he's one of the more explosive tight ends in this league. He's got the willingness to block as good as anyone, and when he gets the ball, he can make some plays."

The 49ers are one win away from returning to the Super Bowl for the second time in three years. They will battle the Rams at SoFi Stadium on Sunday in the NFC Championship Game.

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