Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports


49ers-Seahawks: George Kittle unlikely to play, per report

Sep 16, 2022 at 5:35 PM--


San Francisco 49ers tight end George Kittle made it back onto the practice field today. He hadn't practiced with his teammates since suffering a groin sprain on September 5, forcing him to miss the Week 1 matchup against the Chicago Bears.

Kittle returning to practice was good news for the 49ers, who hope to get their All-Pro player back in time for this weekend's divisional bout with the Seattle Seahawks. Head coach Kyle Shanahan even sounded somewhat optimistic about Kittle's chances of a return, saying the tight end "looked awesome" during the Friday session.

"He's healthier seven days later than he was last week when he was questionable [to play in Week 1]," Shanahan said.

That's all good, right? It certainly would be good for second-year quarterback Trey Lance, who is preparing to make his second regular-season start in front of a Levi's Stadium crowd and his fourth ever NFL start. Kittle has missed 12 games since the beginning of the 2020 season, and Lance has only had Kittle available for one of his three starts.

The bad news is that Eric Branch of the San Francisco Chronicle isn't hearing good news coming out of Santa Clara.

"The San Francisco 49ers on Friday listed George Kittle as questionable to play in Sunday's home opener against the Seahawks," Branch wrote, "but the All-Pro tight end is considered unlikely to make his 2022 debut, according to a source familiar with the team's plans."

The 49ers insist that Kittle will be a game-time decision, and something may change between now and kickoff. General manager John Lynch admitted that Kittle's status will likely go "right down to the wire."

"He is improving, though, and we just want to make sure we have a healthy Kittle for the entirety of the season moving forward," Lynch said.

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