George Kittle Will Not Get Surgery On Torn Labrum

At the tender age of 26, 49ers TE George Kittle has become arguably the best tight end in football. And his performance over the past several seasons is even more impressive in light of his recent revelation on a Pardon My Take podcast (h/t Charean Williams of Pro Football Talk).

Kittle said that he has played the past two seasons with a torn labrum, which he sustained in a 2018 preseason game. However, he has not gotten surgery on the injury and does not plan to.

“I can’t miss those workout days, man,” Kittle said, adding that there is “no chance,” he goes under the knife.

Assuming that he can tolerate the pain, there may be no reason for Kittle to get surgery, at least until his playing career is over. As Williams points out, Cowboys defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence played through a labrum tear for two seasons, though he ultimately did have it surgically repaired. Kittle, meanwhile, will continue to wear a protective sleeve to combat the injury.

The Iowa product is eligible for an extension for the first time this offseason, and he may be the player to finally reset the tight end market. Jimmy Graham‘s $10MM AAV has paced the market for years, and Trey Burton and Jordan Reed are currently at the top of the heap in terms of total guarantees ($22MM). Kittle should exceed both of those figures, and San Francisco is expected to prioritize a new deal for him.

Of course, before that happens, the 49ers will vie for their sixth Super Bowl title. Kittle’s performance in this weekend’s title bout will likely play a major role in the outcome of that contest.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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11 comments on “George Kittle Will Not Get Surgery On Torn Labrum

  1. kevin

    must be a tiny tear . my left one got torn in HS my 9th grade year had a helmet straight on it as I dove on a lose ball I didn’t get it fixed till my after my senior year as my doctors told me it was a stinger yea my shoulder would pop out and when I had surgery only a tiny thread was hanging on . so I know he playing in pain and if it was really bad he would have surgery and he will need surgery at some point

    • twentyforty

      Labrum tears don’t heal without surgery. He’s just delaying the inevitable. And it’s a brutal injury. Easy surgical fix…terribly tedious rehab. And he’s “old” for that type of a surgery meaning it won’t likely ever heal correctly.

      • ghostrobot

        So do it in 2024 when he’s won 3 Super Bowls an mvp and has slain Giselle

  2. Dodgethis

    He knows he won’t be the same player if he gets the surgery. He will likely go as long as he can. As long as it doesn’t aggravate or further injure it should be fine. Maybe that pain is what drives him? 85 has hall of fame potential, can’t let a little surgery get in the way of that.

  3. crosseyedlemon

    Kittle has been a non factor in the playoffs to this point but if he can breakout in the SB I probably get a top 10 finish in the Spotrac fantasy pool. Cmon, George…make it happen!

    • snotrocket

      He has been a huge factor, just not the kind that shows up in fantasy.

      • highplainsdriftr

        I think for many people fantasy football is really the only thing the league is about. Fantasy football is stupid.

  4. twolvesaremynightmare

    I’m sorry but the disrespect shown to the real best tight end in the league in this article is pathetic. And Kittle has had two really good years not “several”

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