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49ers TE George Kittle expected to miss ‘some time’ with shoulder injury

George Kittle, 49ers

There has been a significant amount of buzz around the San Francisco 49ers this offseason with the presence of quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo at the helm of the offense.

However, the 49ers could be without one of his primary receiving threats in the passing game for a few weeks, as second-year tight end George Kittle is dealing with a shoulder injury that he suffered in practice. According to Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network, the Iowa product is dealing with a separated shoulder that has no tears or structural damage.

The injury occurred after went down awkwardly after attempting to make a play on an inaccurate throw from Garoppolo. There isn’t any current timetable for a return from the injury, but it appears that Kittle will be sidelined for a couple of weeks as he recovers, according to Kyle Shanahan. The 49ers will continue to take a precautionary approach given his role within the offense as a reliable receiving option in the passing game.

In 15 games played, Kittle hauled in 43 catches on 63 targets for 515 receiving yards and a pair of touchdowns. He demonstrated strong on-field chemistry with Garoppolo at the tail end of the season that saw him string together four catches for 100 receiving yards and a touchdown in the season finale against the Los Angeles Rams. Kittle stepped up when wide receiver Marquise Goodwin out of action due to a concussion in that game.

The 49ers will continue to monitor the situation with the 24-year-old over the next few weeks before determining his availability to start the regular season. If he were to miss any time in the regular season, Garret Celek could be the temporary starter, as he hauled in 21 catches for 336 receiving yards and four touchdowns while playing in all 16 games a year ago.