George Kittle will make season debut in Week 3


After three practices this week, George Kittle is ready to make his season debut Sunday. The All-Professional tight finish sustained a groin harm simply earlier than the season, and it saved him out two weeks.

Accidents have been a frequent incidence for Kittle throughout his second contract, however he’ll group with Jimmy Garoppolo in a “new”-look 49ers offense Sunday night time in Denver. Kyle Shanahan mentioned Friday the sixth-year go catcher won’t have any restrictions heading into the 49ers-Broncos matchup.

Knee, ankle, foot and calf accidents have plagued Kittle as a professional. The calf ailment price Kittle three video games final season, whereas the foot bother — a fracture — was his most important setback. That break got here halfway throughout a 2020 season during which Garoppolo and lots of different 49er starters missed intensive time.

The maladies that hold cropping up have interrupted Kittle on his $15M-per-year contract. The previous fifth-round choose signed that extension simply earlier than the 2020 season, and the majority of Kittle’s harm bother got here after it. Nonetheless, the Iowa product — going into his age-29 season — is likely one of the NFL’s finest tight ends. His blocking and receiving talents symbolize a uncommon mixture in fashionable soccer, giving the 49ers a singular weapon — one who has definitely buoyed their Garoppolo-led assaults over the previous a number of years.

Regardless of lacking three video games final season, Kittle caught 71 passes for 910 yards and a career-high six touchdowns. These numbers didn’t fairly match his late-2010s work — a then-tight end-record 1,377 yards in 2018 and 1,053 in a 14-game 2019 slate — however the 49ers offense doesn’t precisely have a substitute near their dual-threat tight finish’s degree. He stands to help a group that’s reacclimating Garoppolo and coping with a number of operating again accidents (to starter Elijah Mitchell and third-round rookie Tyrion Davis-Price).

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