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 stored him out two weeks.
Accidents have been a frequent incidence for Kittle throughout his second contract, however he’ll crew with Jimmy Garoppolo in a “new”-look 49ers offense Sunday evening 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 value Kittle three video games final season, whereas the foot hassle — a fracture — was his most important setback. That break got here halfway throughout a 2020 season by which Garoppolo and plenty 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 decide signed that extension simply earlier than the 2020 season, and the majority of Kittle’s harm hassle got here after it. Nonetheless, the Iowa product — going into his age-29 season — is without doubt one of the NFL’s finest tight ends. His blocking and receiving talents characterize a uncommon mixture in trendy soccer, giving the 49ers a novel 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 alternative near their dual-threat tight finish’s stage. He stands to help a crew that’s reacclimating Garoppolo and coping with a number of working again accidents (to starter Elijah Mitchell and third-round rookie Tyrion Davis-Worth).