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Halloween provided a pair of scares for the 49ers in the form of a near blown lead to the Arizona Cardinals and significant injury worries.
George Kittle (who has been dealing with a groin injury in recent weeks) took a helmet to the knee from Arizona Cardinals outside linebacker Chandler Jones and limped off the field and into the medical tent before returning. Despite being hobbled, Kittle, like the lunatic, Spartan proto-warrior of a player he is, continued for the rest of the first half and some of the second before sitting for the final quarter.
“It is what it is. Football, stuff happens,” Kittle said. “You either decide to go back out or you don’t. I tried to give my team everything I could. Fourth quarter, I couldn’t really go anymore and happy to have a guy like Ross Dwelley and Levine Toilolo in there stepping up. Can’t really say enough about Ross and the plays he made. So happy for him.
Here’s what he said about sitting out the fourth quarter.
“I know if something happens, you try to push through it as much as you can, but it comes to the point where if I feel like I’m a liability to the team and I’m not the best man for the job, then I talked to my coach about it and we made a decision about it,” Kittle said. “Definitely thought that Dwelley was definitely more mobile than I was in that fourth quarter.”
He finished with six receptions for 79 yards and a touchdown despite his knee being forced in the wrong direction.
Kittle walked off the field after this 😬 pic.twitter.com/MZFsl3lpbK
— TheSFNiners (@TheSFNiners) November 1, 2019
Head coach Kyle Shanahan said after the game that it was a knee and ankle injury that Kittle sustained.
In addition to Kittle’s injury, both linebacker Kwon Alexander and nickel K’Waun Williams entered the medical tent in the fourth quarter. While Williams returned (cramps), Alexander did not, and Shanahan said the team believes he is dealing with a pectoral injury, saying that he will undergo an MRI on Friday to diagnose the extent of the injury.
According to NBC Sports’ Matt Maiocco, Alexander could move his arm fine (not in a sling) and the 49ers did not immediately diagnose it as a torn pectoral muscle, which would end Alexander’s season. He was replaced by rookie linebacker Dre Greenlaw, and rookie linebacker Azeez Al-Shaair took over at Greenlaw’s strong-side spot when the 49ers ran 4-3 sets.
The #49ers have some level of optimism concerning LB Kwon Alexander’s chest injury. It was not diagnosed immediately as a torn pec, which would be a season-ending injury. He will undergo MRI on Friday to determine the extent of the damage. He appears to have good range of motion.
— Matt Maiocco (@MaioccoNBCS) November 1, 2019
The other side of this short week is what’s awaiting the 49ers in the coming days. They’ll have 11 days of rest between this Thursday and two Monday’s from now, when they’ll face the Seattle Seahawks. That rest bodes well for Kittle, Alexander and the likely returning quartet of Mike McGlinchey, Joe Staley, Kyle Juszczyk and Ahkello Witherspoon.