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49ers tight end George Kittle’s cheeky response to Kyle Shanahan’s viral Jimmy Garoppolo bombshell

George Kittle, 49ers, Jimmy Garoppolo, Kyle Shanahan, NFL Draft

George Kittle figured he was a shoo-in to make the San Francisco 49ers for the 2021 season.

After all, Kittle is arguably the best tight end in football and the best player on the 49ers.

However, if you take 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan literally at his word, even the two-time Pro Bowler on a $75 million contract isn’t guaranteed a roster spot.

On Monday, Shanahan was asked whether quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo is likely to be on the roster for Week 1. Here’s how he responded:

“I can’t guarantee that anybody in the world will be alive Sunday, so I can’t guarantee who’ll be on our roster on Sunday, so that goes for all us.”

In reality, Shahanan’s statement is familiar football coach pablum aimed to motivate players up and down the roster. Obviously, there are at least a handful of players — first and foremost Kittle — who are locks to make the squad, barring serious injury.

Kittle surely knows this, but he still just wanted to remind his head coach that he’s alive and well and available to play for the 49ers.

“I’ll call you on Sunday to let you know I’m alive coach,” Kittle playfully responded on Twitter to a clip of his coach’s proclamation.

Knee and leg injuries limited Kittle to eight games in 2020, but the hard-nosed Niner returned for the final two games of the season. San Francisco finished 6-10.

Assuming he does make the roster (obviously a joke), who Kittle catches passes from in 2021 remains the biggest storyline for GM John Lynch and the 49ers.

San Francisco traded up to the no. 3 spot in the 2021 NFL Draft and are widely expected to select a quarterback, though there remains internal disagreement over whether to take Mac Jones from Alabama or Trey Lance from North Dakota State.