© Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports
George Kittle is not a normal human being. In the 49ers’ Week 9 Thursday night game against the Arizona Cardinals, Kittle had his left knee hyperextended and ankle injured on the same play in the first quarter. He played through both injuries until the fourth quarter, when Ross Dwelley replaced him. Kittle finished that game with six catches for 79 yards and a touchdown. Again, he accomplished all that after this play:
— new-age analytical (@benbbaldwin) November 1, 2019
… A play, which, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, broke Kittle’s ankle. Schefter did not specify what Kittle’s knee injury was, but the ankle alone was likely enough to sideline Kittle from game action the three-plus weeks it’s been.
Exactly three weeks after suffering the injury, this Thursday, Kittle returned to 49ers practice in a blue, non-contact jersey, along with Emmanuel Sanders and Deebo Samuel, who, like Kittle, are likely to play against the Green Bay Packers on Sunday night.
When Kittle spoke Thursday about playing the Packers for the first time since last year’s crushing 33-30 loss, he said he hoped to play, and spoke with a sense that he would.
“It’s awesome, you kidding me? I mean, this is what you practice [for], this is where you put all the hard work in and OTAs, the whole offseason, summer to be in big-time games, and I mean, we’re looking forward to it,” Kittle said. “This is the team that you know the last year we got big-time games taken away from us, the Sunday Night Football games. And just the fact that we get that opportunity again is really fun. I think I’ve yet to play in the Sunday night game in my career, so I’m really looking forward to that. And it’s just gonna be an absolute blast.”