Kyle Shanahan provides latest update on George Kittle’s injury status
George Kittle made a brief exit in Week 1 for the San Francisco 49ers after suffering a knee sprain when he took a hit to the knee from Budda Baker. Despite Kittle still experiencing soreness in his knee, Kyle Shanahan isn’t ruling out the All-Pro tight end for the team’s Week 2 bout with the New York Jets.
“[H]e’s battling,” 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan told reporters on Wednesday. “We thought it’d be all right, woke up the next day a little sore. He fully expects to be there Sunday like he always does. Just like he always plays through the game when it happens, but we’ll give him the whole week. Always love to get them out there on Friday. We’ll see how that goes. Friday’s just a walkthrough anyways, but Kittle is one guy that if he’s ready to go on Sunday and the doctors say he’s good to go, we have no problem with him going without practicing.”
The 49ers are already shorthanded on offense with Deebo Samuel being placed on injured reserve ahead of Week 1. So if Kittle is unable to suit up this week, then San Francisco’s offense could struggle to move the ball through the air.
However, giving Kittle the option to play — even without practicing all week — seems like a risky decision for the 49ers. Especially when you consider that the Jets are shorthanded themselves, with a thin receiving corps and Le’Veon Bell on injured reserve.
There’s no doubt that Kittle is one of the toughest players in the NFL. With that being said, it remains to be seen if letting Kittle play in Week 2 — if he’s ready — is the right move for Shanahan and the San Francisco 49ers.