George Kittle is doubtful. Shanahan said he didn’t feel healthy enough to practice today.
Kyle Shanahan said the plan was for Jimmy Garoppolo to practice Friday to determine whether he’ll suit up against the Cardinals this Sunday. But, per the media that was on hand at Friday’s practice, Garoppolo was not available.
On KNBR Friday morning, 49ers general manager John Lynch had this to say about Garoppolo:
“Jimmy was in a considerable amount of pain. Got kneed in the calf, and that’s just kind of shut that whole area down. It makes it hard when it’s your right foot because that’s your push foot. It just rendered him to where he couldn’t play.
He wanted to get out there—just too painful—Wednesday, Thursday. But Jimmy, he’s been living in the training room, trying to get out there today. I think today is critical. If it’s not today, then we go with Trey. The great news is Trey’s gotten a lot of valuable reps. We’ll see if Jimmy’s ready, and then I think we’ll be able to update you more later today.”
Shanahan said this isn’t an anointment of Lance being named the starter: “Our starting QB is out, and if he was 100%, he’d be starting.”
Shanahan, on whether there’s a competitive advantage knowing there’s little to no tape on Lance:
“A little bit, but it’s not like the whole game is different. You got a different guy at the position, but I mean, it’s not like it’s a whole different team.”
George Kittle was working on the side of the field. Lynch said there’s a chance Kittle doesn’t suit up Sunday. But, as was the case last week, the decision to play Kittle could come down to the wire. If the team makes any practice squad moves on Saturday, we’ll have a better idea of whether Kittle plays.
Shanahan said Kittle is doubtful. He said the difference is Kittle was able to practice last Friday, but Kittle didn’t feel like he could practice today.
Here’s Lynch on KNBR Friday morning discussing Kittle’s injury:
“It’s hard for Kittle to work through practice, but it’s hard to keep George out of the game. Of course, our doctors are very skilled, and you can go get more opinions to make sure that we aren’t putting him at further risk by putting him out there. We’ll never do that. But he’s finding a way to get to Sunday.
But it is hard for anyone to function at their highest level when you’re not practicing each day. George is the type of player who can do that, but it sure would be nice to have him back.
Everything’s focused on this Sunday, and George is working his tail off to be there. If not, it’s nice that we do have a bye after Sunday, and we’re hopeful that time can allow him to heal enough to really lick this thing and put it behind us so he can get back in there at practice.”
As I said last week, Kittle isn’t a player who needs to practice. He should take all of the time he needs to heal, and that won’t happen by practicing. No, it won’t happen by playing either. What will occur is Kittle feels better without having any contact a week in between games.
It’s unlikely Kittle suits up, which means Trey Lance will make his first career start, but that’ll be without one of the team’s best players. Either way, Shanahan is excited to see the rookie play:
— San Francisco 49ers (@49ers) October 8, 2021
Defensive tackles D.J. Jones (knee) and Javon Kinlaw (knee) were taking part in the stretching portion with the team. Kinlaw was limited, and Jones did not practice on Thursday. This is likely a game where we’d see more of Maurice Hurst.
Running back, Elijah Mitchell practiced. He should return after sitting out the past two games. He’s good to go, and so is Josh Norman.
Here’s a look at the final injury report:
QB Jimmy Garoppolo
CB K’Waun Williams
TE George Kittle
DT Javon Kinlaw
DL Samson Ebukam
For Arizona, they’ll be without starting cornerback Byron Murphy, who has three interceptions on the season. That’s a massive blow for the Cardinals and great news for the 49ers’ passing offense.