Does this mean the 28-year-old is the best tight end in the league? Well, arguably the league’s premiere and elite tight end Travis Kelce of the Kansas City Chiefs has given “The People’s Tight End” the crown.
However, not everyone is on board with taking Kittle over Kelce.
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‘He’s Made of Glass’
During the Monday, December 20 edition of Heavy’s I’m Just Saying, three of the four show panelists were vocal about still choosing Kelce as the top tight end.
None, though, were more verbose than Paul “Boy Green” Esden.
The Heavy on Jets writer, who also hosts the “Manchild Show with Boy Green” radio show on The Score 1260 in Syracuse, New York, immediately shattered Kittle like broken glass — by saying he’s secretly made out of the material.
“I’ll tell you this: George Kittle is made of glass,” Esden bluntly said.
Why? Esden dove into Kittle’s injury history.
“You know how many times in Kittle’s career he’s had a full 16 game season? One time. He’s made of glass. If the doctors did surgery on him, they checked him and are like ‘Whoa bones! He’s made of glass.'”
Esden also referenced a famous movie line in the classic holiday film “A Christmas Story.” But, Esden did not describe Kittle as the Red Ryder Air Rifle that became a famous prop in the renown film. He instead compared Kittle to the lamp shade with the French pronunciation that became popular from the late actor Darren McGavin.
“What is he (Kittle) as they say in the ‘Christmas Story?’ Fragile,” Esden said.
Esden’s segment can be watched below:
Kittle Has Had Health Dilemma
While Esden’s blunt assessment of Kittle will likely spark criticism and a widespread conversation among the 49ers faithful, let’s be realistic: He’s got a point.
Kittle has not been consistently healthy — and that includes this season as he’s been limited to 11 of the 49ers’ 14 games.
Last season, Kittle’s season was cut in half to eight games as a sprained knee then foot fracture sidelined him. Even in 2019 during the 49ers’ run at the NFC title, Kittle was dealing with a knee patella sprain from Halloween. According to Pro Football Reference, Kittle is confirmed to have just one full 16 game, 16 start season: 2018.
But what about Kelce?
Sure, Kelce was recently hit with the coronavirus bug, with his name among 13 Kansas City Chiefs who got placed on the COVID-19 list. Unfortunately like Kittle, Kelce also has an injury history detailed here. Kelce most recently had to deal with a cervical neck stinger from October 10, 2021.
However, Kelce has this advantage over Kittle when it comes to health: Since 2014, he’s never been held to below 11 starts per Pro Football Reference.
What Others Said
Heavy on Patriots/Bulls writer Brian Mazique is a Kelce fan — citing not only his string of consistency at tight end as the advantage but also brought up this walk-off overtime touchdown in the Chiefs’ last regular season game in SoFi Stadium as something rarely seen from tight ends:
Heavy on Cardinals’ Ryan Sanudo does respect Kittle’s game, but gravitated toward Kelce and called him the main reason why K.C. has never gotten another receiver outside of him.
The one man who chose Kittle? Yours truly — by mentioning how Kittle destroyed a Super Bowl Most Valuable Player on this block and Kittle’s current streak.