Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

Why Baldy isn’t concerned about George Kittle potentially missing 49ers-Bears

Sep 10, 2022 at 2:10 PM--

San Francisco 49ers tight end George Kittle is questionable to play in Sunday's regular-season opener against the Chicago Bears. He is dealing with a groin strain and remains hopeful that he could be out on the field with his teammates. However, Kittle understands the situation. It's Week 1, and if he can ensure playing the rest of the season by missing one game, then that's what needs to happen.

"If I could make it worse, I don't think they're going to let me play," Kittle said on Friday. "So we're on the same page with that as a team. We're doing everything we can [to make sure] I'm going to be safe out there. If we can do whatever we can to make it as stable as possible and safe, I'll be out there."

If you're worried about the 49ers offense missing Kittle at Soldier Field, NFL analyst Brian Baldinger thinks you should calm down. That's not to say that Kittle isn't impactful.

"There's only two or three tight ends in the league that can block like him," Baldinger told 95.7 The Game's Damon Bruce and Ray Ratto on Friday. "But more than just that, it's just the way that him and Kyle Juszczyk, how they kind of do things in tandem together. They're excellent together in blocking the edges. So Charlie Woerner, [whoever you put] out there, Ross Dwelley, they're not George. It can make a difference."

The 49ers are bursting with talent, though. On paper, it's a lot more talent than the Bears. That should mitigate the potential loss of Kittle, assuming that's what actually ends up happening. If it does, try not to lose too much sleep over it.

"But to be honest with you, if you think that losing George Kittle makes this game closer, then you're not where you need to be," Baldinger continued confidently. "They should be able to overcome the loss of George Kittle in this game. I'd be surprised if he plays. You just can't afford to have anything linger into the second week.

"He's going to be disappointed. I'm sure he wants to play. I'm sure he's getting acupuncture right now, and who knows what else? He's lying in some salted water somewhere, trying to take some inflammation out. But you've just got to get him ready for the season. He makes such a difference.

"You've really, honestly, got to just go the next guy up at every single position right now. And you've just got to coach them all up and get them all ready to play, understanding that there is a drop-off. The other guys behind him can't block as well as he can, but you've just got to go with the next guy."

You can listen to the entire conversation with Baldinger below.


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