Latest On 49ers TE George Kittle

SEPTEMBER 18: Kittle’s current groin ailment was initially expected to keep him on the shelf for three weeks, and Adam Schefter of ESPN.com reported Sunday morning that the three-time Pro Bowler is not expected to play in the 49ers’ Week 2 contest against the Seahawks (Twitter link). That may be true, but Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweeted roughly an hour later that Kittle did practice on Friday and is pushing to play.

San Francisco suffered a disappointing defeat to the Bears in their opener, while Seattle pulled off an upset over the Broncos. The Niners and second-year QB Trey Lance would obviously love to have Kittle on the field to help them avoid an 0-2 start.

SEPTEMBER 8: Following an injury on Monday, George Kittle‘s status for this weekend’s season opener was already in doubt. It’s now sounding like the 49ers tight end probably won’t take the field. According to Aaron Wilson of ProFootballNetwork.com, Kittle’s groin injury is considered serious and he’s unlikely to play against the Bears on Sunday.

A source described Kittle’s groin injury as “not good,” although they noted that the situation remained fluid. Considering Kittle’s past issues with injuries, that source said it may be best if the tight end sits out a week or two. Another source told Wilson that Kittle suffered a Grade 2 strain that has limited his speed. While Kittle’s toughness means he’s always a candidate to take the field, it sounds like the organization is more confident in his long-term health if he takes it slow to start the year. Kittle suffered the groin injury on Monday and was absent from practice on Wednesday.

Kittle is one of the NFL’s top tight ends when he’s on the field, but he’s missed at least two games in each of the past three seasons. He missed three games last season while nursing a calf injury, but he still managed to finish the campaign with 71 receptions for 910 yards and six touchdowns.

San Francisco does have some depth behind Kittle. Charlie Woerner would likely draw the start in place of Kittle, with Ross Dwelley and Tyler Kroft serving as the primary backups.

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