The 49ers announced on Saturday that they’ve placed Kittle, who’s dealing with a calf injury, on the injured reserve, per NFL insider Tom Pelissero. It’s yet another addition to San Francisco’s injury list.
Starting quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo won’t play on Sunday against the Arizona Cardinals. He’s also dealing with a calf injury. That means Trey Lance, the No. 3 overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, will make his first NFL start.
Unfortunately, he won’t have Kittle to throw to on Sunday or for the next few weeks.
The #49ers are placing TE George Kittle (calf) on injured reserve, meaning he’s out three games. Rather than having the injury nag him all season, the hope is it settles down and he can be back when eligible.
— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) October 9, 2021
We sort of knew this was coming. Kyle Shanahan expressed earlier this week that George Kittle was doubtful to play on Sunday. What we didn’t know was the 49ers would elect to place Kittle on the injured reserve.
The 49ers, who believe they’re talented enough to win the NFC West, are entering a key stretch here. They take on the division-leading Arizona Cardinals on Sunday before getting a much-needed bye week next weekend.
If Trey Lance can somehow manage to lead the Niners to victory on Sunday, that may be enough time for Jimmy Garoppolo to return. The real question is, will Shanahan turn the offense back over to Garoppolo if Lance lives up to the hype? Probably not.
Kittle and Garoppolo will be watching from the sideline when Lance and the 49ers clash with the Cardinals on Sunday.
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