San Francisco 49ers’ tight end George Kittle’s absence will certainly be felt in Week 2.
Kittle went down with a knee injury in the first half of the 49ers’ season-opener loss to the Arizona Cardinals. A high pass from quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo forced Kittle to reach up into the air just as Cardinals safety Budda Baker hit him low.
The play looked brutal at first and many initially feared the worst. But to his credit, the ever-resilient Kittle manager to return in the second half against all odds — although he clearly wasn’t at full strength.
After undergoing tests following the game, it was revealed that Kittle had suffered a sprained knee. Once more, Kittle did his best to ensure that he wouldn’t miss any action.
The original plan was for him to not practice all week and still travel with the team to East Rutherford, New Jersey. But after further discussion, the 49ers ultimately opted against that.
Kittle will ultimately stay at home in the Bay Area before reuniting with the team at The Greenbrier Resort in Sulphur Springs, West Virginia before the team’s Week 3 matchup with the New York Giants.
The decision was one made out of caution and likely exasperated with the fact that Kittle would have to make the long trip out east. It just wasn’t worth the risk.
The San Francisco 49ers will definitely miss George Kittle on Sunday.
As for the 49ers, they will certainly miss Kittle, arguably the team’s best player, this week. In his place, the team will call on former Pro Bowler Jordan Reed to step into a starting role.
But even the talented Reed can’t come close to matching what Kittle does on a weekly basis.
Aside from his production in the passing game, Kittle oftentimes serves as a sixth offensive lineman of sorts and is instrumental to the ground game. This is especially important against a Jets defense that ranked second against the run in 2019.
This will be a big opportunity for Reed as the former Washington star will be given his first chance at an expanded role in San Francisco. We will likely also see some of sixth-round rookie Charlie Woerner, a training-camp standout, as well.
Reed will look to make the most of this opportunity, but the 49ers will surely miss their beloved star tight end.