© Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports
Look away now, 49ers fans. During Friday’s practice, tight end George Kittle sustained a groin injury, and was thus limited in 49ers practice. It’s unclear exactly what happened or what the severity of the injury is. Head coach Kyle Shanahan revealed the knock after practice and while he said he believes that Kittle will play Sunday, he made clear that his analysis was coming before Kittle had been evaluated by training staff, and shouldn’t be seen as a guarantee that he’ll play by any means.
Oftentimes, the 49ers believe injuries to be minor when they turn out to be significant. Ahkello Witherspoon, heading into the bye week, said he expected to be back in Week 5. Instead, he suffered a foot sprain and was deemed out for “at least a month.” Shanahan admitted Wednesday that he didn’t initially believe Mike McGlinchey’s injury to be serious, nor did McGlinchey, yet he needed arthroscopic surgery on his right knee, and along with fullback Kyle Juszczyk, is out for four-to-six weeks.
The loss of Juszczyk, McGlinchey and Joe Staley meant that Kittle’s blocking and ability to line up as a fullback would/will likely be tested and crucial on Sunday. While Shanahan can scheme around some injuries, it’s hard to imagine an effective way for the 49ers to scheme around the loss of their most consistent receiving target and crucial blocker. His status will likely remain unclear until Sunday.