The San Francisco 49ers tight end played through a knee injury during Sunday’s game against the Arizona Cardinals.
Months after losing to the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl 54, the San Francisco 49ers entered Week 1 of the 2020 NFL season with the goal of returning to the big game. However, their Week 1 didn’t go as planned, as they lost 24-20 to the rival Arizona Cardinals. During the game, the 49ers had a brief scare after star tight end George Kittle took a hit to the knee by safety Budda Baker. While he only missed a single offensive snap, Kittle didn’t get away scot-free.
Head coach Kyle Shanahan told the media on Monday that Kittle is dealing with a knee sprain, and will evaluate him on Wednesday prior to their Week 2 matchup against the New York Jets.
49ers can’t afford a long-term Kittle injury
Kittle’s ailment couldn’t have come at a worse time for the 49ers. This summer, their passing attack was pummeled by injuries. Deebo Samuel suffered a Jones fracture in his foot, forcing the team to place him on the injured list. First-round selection Brandon Aiyuk was ruled out for Week 1 after picking up a mild hamstring strain late in training camp. Jalen Hurd tore his ACL, Richie James picked up a hamstring strain, and free agent acquisition Tavon Austin was placed on the season-ending injured reserve with a knee injury.
After taking that shot to the knee, Kittle returned in the second half, but was not targeted once by quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo. The tight end caught 4-of-5 targets for 44 yards, while rushing once for nine yards. This was Kittle’s first game since signing a $75 million contract extension.
The 49ers will keep an eye on Kittle during practice this week to see if he’s good to go for Week 2. If he is deemed fit to play, he’ll have an extremely favorable matchup against a Jets defense that surrendered 306 passing yards to Josh Allen and the Buffalo Bills this past Sunday.