49ers TE George Kittle expected to be ready for Week 1
Things have gotten off to a rough start for the San Francisco 49ers following an injury-riddled preseason opener. Fortunately, it appears they managed to dodge a couple of bullets on the night.
Running back Matt Breida and tight end Greg Kittle were forced to exit the game early with apparent shoulder injuries. According to Matt Barrows of The Athletic, head coach Kyle Shanahan is confident Breida and Kittle will be ready for Week 1 of the 2018 NFL season:
Kyle Shanahan said all of the players injured in Thursday’s game should be available for Week 1. He said the two players who suffered shoulder injuries — George Kittle and Matt Breida — would miss the remainder of the preseason.
It is encouraging to see that the injuries sustained are not too severe. Both players figure to play a vital role in the team’s offense this season.
San Francisco was able to confirm Breida’s status for the regular season soon after the game. However, Kittle’s status had remained up in the air up until now. It appears Shanahan will take a cautious approach with their recovery.
Breida is coming off a solid 2017 campaign in which he served as the team’s complementary back. With running back Carlos Hyde now out of the picture, he was hoping to take on a larger role. Unfortunately, this may set him back in his position battle with running back Jerick McKinnon.
Meanwhile, Kittle emerged as a pleasant surprise last season. The former fifth-round pick established himself as the starter early on and finished the 2017 campaign with 43 receptions for 515 yards and two touchdowns.
The 49ers are hoping he can become a potential safety net for quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo. Unfortunately, fans will have to wait until the regular season starts to see these two back in action.