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George Kittle

San Francisco 49ers
Tight End #85
San Francisco 49ers
Tight End #85
Photo: Icon Sportswire

George Kittle News

Quiet game offensively

Kittle corralled all four of his targets for 17 yards in Sunday's 17-11 win over the Eagles.

Analysis: Kittle was unable to break off any of his signature YAC runs in this one, as Philadelphia's fast defense was quick to take him down on all four of his receptions. The star tight end hasn't gotten off to the start fantasy owners were hoping for, totaling just eight receptions (nine targets) for 95 yards and no touchdowns through two contests. The positive news is that Kittle appears to be healthy, so there will be better days ahead for the unique weapon in head coach Kyle Shanahan's offense. Perhaps a home matchup against the Packers under the lights of Sunday Night Football will be the game we see Kittle finally break out.

Sep 19, 2021 2:46 PM EST

78 yards in victory

Kittle caught four of five targets for 78 yards Sunday, but he lost a fumble in a 41-33 win over the Lions.

Analysis: Deebo Samuel (nine catches, 189 yards and a touchdown) did most of the heavy lifting on the receiving end, but Kittle still managed to do some damage between the numbers against an inexperienced Detroit defense. The 27-year-old remains one of the top tight ends in the league, but he will have the occasional moderate volume game, like this one, due to his elite run blocking on a run-heavy offense. Kittle remains a bona fide TE1 heading into a Week 2 matchup against the Eagles.

Sep 12, 2021 2:04 PM EST

Gets taste of preseason

Kittle caught his only target for 14 yards in Sunday's 34-10 preseason win over the Raiders.

Analysis: Kittle made his exhibition debut and secured a first down on San Francisco's second play of the day. The former All-Pro tight end will now turn his attention toward Week 1's matchup against the Lions.

Aug 29, 2021 4:41 PM EST

Not in line to play Sunday

Kittle isn't expected to suit up for Sunday's preseason contest at the Chargers, Nick Wagoner of reports.

Analysis: Coach Kyle Shanahan implied the starters would play at least a quarter in preseason Week 2, but Kittle won't among the 49ers' skill-position players to take the field Sunday. Kittle will be joined by No. 1 running back Raheem Mostert, meaning the top weapons available to Jimmy Garoppolo and Trey Lance will be Deebo Samuel, Brandon Aiyuk and Mohamed Sanu.

Aug 22, 2021 3:43 PM EST

Could make appearance Sunday

Kittle likely will suit up for Sunday's preseason game at the Chargers, David Lombardi of The Athletic reports.

Analysis: After Friday's joint practice with the Chargers, coach Kyle Shanahan indicated San Francisco starters will play "a quarter, a quarter and a half" Sunday. Clearly, Kittle is among those players, but it wouldn't surprise if Shanahan has a quicker leash with Kittle, the team's top pass catcher, than other first stringers.

Aug 20, 2021 5:15 PM EST

Likely out for preseason opener

Kittle is not expected to play in Saturday's preseason opener against the Chiefs, according to Eric Branch of the San Francisco Chronicle.

Analysis: It is not believed that Kittle is dealing with any sort of injury, so it seems likely he is simply getting a chance to rest. A foot injury cost Kittle half the 2020 campaign, so expect the 49ers to be cautious with him leading up to Week 1.

Aug 14, 2021 4:36 PM EST

Helping rookie QB adjust

Kittle is already showing chemistry with rookie QB Trey Lance at training camp, Matt Maiocco of NBC Sports Bay Area reports.

Analysis: Kittle makes things easy on his quarterbacks, and he's played with a bunch of them early in his career, in part due to Jimmy Garoppolo's injury woes. Coach Kyle Shanahan has said multiple times that he views Garoppolo as his starter, but history suggests Lance -- a No. 3 overall pick -- will end up taking snaps one way or another before the end of the season. That might not be good for Kittle's receiving stats in the short term, but it'll work out for him in the long run if Lance becomes the player the Niners expect.

Jul 30, 2021 12:43 PM EST

Seven catches in finale

Kittle had seven receptions (nine targets) for 68 yards in Sunday's 26-23 loss to the Seahawks.

Analysis: Kittle has dealt with multiple lower leg injuries in 2020, so his full participation in an inconsequential Week 17 tilt indicates that he is back at full strength heading into the offseason. The star tight end finishes the campaign with 48 receptions, 634 yards, two scores and a solid 76.2 catch rate in the eight games he participated in. The injury-shortened season could result in the 26-year-old coming at a bit of a discount in next year's drafts, as healthy elite options such as Travis Kelce and Darren Waller should come off the board before him. Kittle should resume contending for the title of top tight end in fantasy if he can stay healthy next year, especially with improved quarterback play in the form of a healthy Jimmy Garoppolo (ankle) or an option from outside the organization.

Jan 3, 2021 6:34 PM EST

Racks up 92 yards in return

Kittle (foot) recorded four receptions on five targets for 92 yards in Week 16 against the Cardinals.

Analysis: Kittle was in game action for the first time since Week 8 and returned to lead the team in targets, yards and receptions. The majority of his production came on long receptions, including gains of 27, 24 and 18 yards. His first catch of the day came on a pass short and to the flat, but he made a quick cut and burst up field. The only thing missing from Kittle's effort was a trip to the end zone, though most importantly he appears to be fairly healthy heading into a Week 17 matchup against the Seahawks.

Dec 26, 2020 5:14 PM EST

Comes off IR

The 49ers activated Kittle (foot) from injured reserve Friday, Jennifer Lee Chan of NBC Sports Bay Area reports.

Analysis: Kittle missed the past six games due to a fractured cuboid bone in his foot that he suffered Nov. 1. The 49ers' receiving corps has been depleted as the season has gone on, with Deebo Samuel (hamstring) not expected to play Week 16 or 17, Trent Taylor (undisclosed) on the reserve/COVID-19 list and two others on IR. Coach Kyle Shanahan said Kittle will be under a "snap count" Saturday in Arizona, but it remains to be seen how exactly the tight end will be utilized.

Dec 25, 2020 2:55 PM EST

Slated to return Saturday

Coach Kyle Shanahan said Thursday that Kittle (foot) is expected to play in Saturday's game at Arizona, Matt Barrows of The Athletic reports.

Analysis: Shanahan noted Kittle fared well enough in practice to warrant the 49ers activating the tight end from injured reserve, a move that is slated to happen prior to Saturday's 4:30 p.m. ET kickoff. In his first game action since Week 8, though, Kittle will be on a snap count nearly eight weeks removed from suffering a broken cuboid bone in his foot. Considering the recent play of Jordan Reed and Ross Dwelley, Kittle may not warrant a ton of looks from C.J. Beathard, but his rapport with the QB going back to college at Iowa could be enough to make his return a productive one.

Dec 24, 2020 1:51 PM EST

Could play Saturday

Coach Kyle Shanahan said Tuesday that Kittle has a chance to play in Saturday's game versus the Cardinals, Cam Inman of The San Jose Mercury News reports. "He's got a chance this week. That was the point to get him back in practice this week," Shanahan said. "I'm looking to see how he is this week, and if he's good, I plan on playing him."

Analysis: Kittle has been pushing to return before the end of the season after suffering a foot fracture in Week 8 against the Seahawks. Even though the 49ers are out of playoff contention, it doesn't sound like the team will rest its star tight end if he's medically cleared to play. If Kittle is good to go, he'll catch passes from C.J. Beathard, who was named the starting quarterback after Nick Mullens (elbow) was ruled out for the year.

Dec 22, 2020 11:41 AM EST

Uncertain to play final two games

Kittle (foot) is "pushing to play" in the 49ers' final two regular-season contests, but the team hasn't decided whether the tight end will be activated from injured reserve, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reports. "A lot will go into that decision," a team source told Rapoport, regarding whether Kittle will play again in 2020.

Analysis: After being cleared to practice Wednesday, Kittle looks to be nearing the finish line in his recovery from the fractured bone in his foot that has sidelined him since Week 8. While another week of practice should be enough to get Kittle ready for game action from a conditioning standpoint, the 5-8 49ers may not want to risk exposing the star tight end to a potential setback over the final two games, especially if they're already eliminated from the playoffs. If the 49ers are at least able to win against the Cowboys on Sunday to keep their faint postseason hopes alive, Kittle's return Week 16 at Arizona would likely become more realistic.

Dec 20, 2020 5:48 AM EST

Not ready to play

Kittle (foot) won't play in Sunday's game against the Cowboys, Cam Inman of The San Jose Mercury News reports.

Analysis: Earlier this week, the 49ers designated Kittle to return from injured reserve, hoping to get him back for the final stretch of the regular season. Of course, they may opt for caution if/when they're eliminated from playoff contention, something that could happen as soon as Sunday afternoon. Ross Dwelley and Jordan Reed will continue to split reps at tight end, while Brandon Aiyuk remains a clear favorite to lead the Niners in targets.

Dec 18, 2020 1:34 PM EST

Eligible to practice

The 49ers opened the Injured Reserve practice window for Kittle (foot) on Wednesday.

Analysis: The transaction makes Kittle eligible to practice, but it doesn't necessarily mean he'll be back for Sunday's must-win game in Dallas. In fact, Matt Maiocco of NBC Sports Bay Area relays that Kittle isn't expected to play this week, though it's possible the prognosis changes if he gets out on the practice field and looks healthy. There's also a decent chance he doesn't play again this season, especially if the Niners lose their upcoming game and officially fall out of the wild-card hunt.

Dec 16, 2020 11:55 AM EST

Could practice this week

Coach Kyle Shanahan indicated Monday the hope is that Kittle (foot) can practice some this week, Matt Barrows of The Athletic reports.

Analysis: Earlier this month, Shanahan noted that he was hopeful the 49ers' star tight end could be back for the last couple weeks of the season. A return to the field in some capacity this week could result in that outcome, but at this stage, we'd be surprised if Kittle was available for Sunday's game against the Cowboys.

Dec 14, 2020 2:59 PM EST

May return late in season

Coach Kyle Shanahan is hopeful Kittle (foot) will return for the "last couple weeks" of the season, Jennifer Lee Chan of NBC Sports Bay Area reports.

Analysis: Kittle and Jimmy Garoppolo (ankle) are slated to begin doing individual work on a side field in the near future as they continue their respective rehabs. The tight end himself hasn't played since Week 8 due to a fractured cuboid bone in his foot, and neither of the players' 21-day windows to be activated from IR will be opened until next week, at the earliest. Shanahan specifically noted "whether it's two games or one game or none," so a decision on Kittle could come down to whether the 49ers are still in the race for a playoff spot.

Dec 1, 2020 1:54 PM EST

Shifts to IR

The 49ers placed Kittle (foot) on injured reserve Thursday, Nick Wagoner of reports.

Analysis: Kittle's move to IR was fully expected after the tight end was diagnosed Wednesday with a fractured cuboid bone in his foot. The 49ers haven't placed an official timeline on Kittle's return, but Adam Schefter of ESPN reported Sunday that the 27-year-old could be sidelined for around eight weeks with the injury. With Kittle unlikely to play again until late in the season, the 49ers will rely more heavily on Jordan Reed and Ross Dwelley at tight end.

Nov 5, 2020 1:59 PM EST

Diagnosis confirmed

Kittle has been diagnosed with a fractured cuboid bone in his foot, Cam Inman of The San Jose Mercury News reports.

Analysis: GM John Lynch relayed on KNBR San Francisco that a CT scan revealed the extent of Kittle's injury, which he suffered this past Sunday at Seattle. Placed on IR on Tuesday, Kittle was given a recovery timeline of eight weeks, but coach Kyle Shanahan noted Kittle believes he'll only be sidelined two weeks, per Inman. However, Kittle likely is in line to miss the rest of the season, with the eight-week return timetable lining up with Week 16 at Arizona on Dec. 27. In the interim, the 49ers will roll with Ross Dwelley at tight end until Jordan Reed (knee) is activated from injured reserve.

Nov 4, 2020 12:19 PM EST

Going to injured reserve

The 49ers will place Kittle (foot) on injured reserve, Nick Wagoner of reports.

Analysis: While the team's medical staff has informed coach Kyle Shanahan that Kittle will be sidelined eight weeks due to a small fracture in his right foot, the tight end instead has told Shanahan that he intends to miss two weeks, per Cam Inman of The San Jose Mercury News. The move to IR indicates Kittle will be out at least three weeks, but it also gives the 49ers leeway in case Kittle beats the odds and recovers (at least is cleared to play) before the end of the campaign. In the meantime, Ross Dwelley will occupy the top of the TE depth chart until Jordan Reed (knee) is activated from injured reserve.

Nov 3, 2020 1:17 PM EST

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