Tony Avelar/Associated Press
After suffering a sprained MCL and bone bruise in his team’s Week 1 loss to the Arizona Cardinals, Kittle missed Week 2 against the New York Jets. ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported Saturday that there was a belief the 26-year-old would be ready to play in Week 3.
It was a tough blow for a squad that will be without a number of key players:
The team will also be without Nick Bosa and Solomon Thomas, who suffered torn ACLs in Week 2.
In Week 1, Kittle left the game in the first half but returned after the intermission. But he wasn’t targeted again, and he finished with 44 yards on four receptions. Per Nick Wagoner of ESPN, Kittle said after the game he felt “fantastic.”
Before the announcement that Kittle will sit out Week 2, 49ers general manager John Lynch said the team wouldn’t hesitate to put him on the bench.
“George is obviously very important, and George is one of those guys who’s going to want to play every time, so we have to be very judicious,” Lynch said last Friday, via SFGate’s Eric Ting.
Kittle also had a knee injury in 2019 and missed two games.
The Niners will look to tight ends Jordan Reed and Ross Dwelley in Kittle’s absence. Reed played 10 snaps in the season opener and 28 last weekend, per Pro Football Reference. He caught seven passes for 50 yards and two scores against the Jets. Dwelley scored two touchdowns and had seven catches for 38 yards when Kittle was out last season. He played 39 snaps last week and caught one pass for five yards.