The 49ers were setting up to enter this season with a full complement of offensive weapons for Trey Lance to have at his disposal in his first season as the starter.
It appears that may not be the case. Star tight end George Kittle, who was named a captain on Wednesday, suffered a groin injury in Monday’s practice. Kyle Shanahan said Kittle was not feeling good.
According to NFL reporter Aaron Wilson, there is not an optimistic outlook, and Kittle is unlikely to play in the season opener on Monday.
Per a source referenced by Wilson, the injury is “not good,” and another called it a “Grade 2 strain that has limited Kittle’s top-end speed.”
Both sources, per Wilson, said a week of rest would do him well, saying, “… his chances of playing nearly the entire season are considered much more likely if he sits out the season opener and doesn’t further aggravate the injury.”
If the injury lingers, it could be a glaring issue at a tight end position that’s not considered very strong behind Kittle. That’s understandable given the investment the 49ers made to him, meaning they have to lean on cheaper depth options.
The current roster has Charlie Woerner as the No. 2 behind Kittle, with both Ross Dwelley and Tyler Kroft behind him. Troy Fumagalli, who was in training camp, was re-signed to the practice squad this week, providing a potential fourth option to be bumped up for gameday.