Niners All-Pro Deemed Doubtful in Unexpected Week 5 Injury Update

49ers offensive line

Getty The San Francisco 49ers signed offensive lineman Daniel Brunskill [left] to a one-year tender on Tuesday, April 13.

The San Francisco 49ers won’t just be down their starting quarterback Sunday against the Arizona Cardinals, they’ll also be without arguably the most elite playmaker on their offense.

Niners head coach Kyle Shanahan announced after practice Friday, October 8 that All-Pro tight end George Kittle was doubtful to play in the desert in Week 5 because of a nagging leg injury.

Kittle was also a question heading into last week’s matchup with the Seattle Seahawks due to the same calf issue. He was, however, able to take the field for the Niners in what turned out to be a 28-21 home loss.

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Cam Inman of the Bay Area News Group shared a video on Twitter of Shanahan informing reporters of the tight end’s less ambiguous and less optimistic prospects to play against the Cardinals.


Kittle Situation Worsened Over Past Week

George Kittle 49ers

GettySan Francisco 49ers tight end George Kittle may not play against the Arizona Cardinals in Week 5.

While Inman’s Twitter caption of the Shanahan video references the status of veteran Jimmy Garoppolo, who will be sidelined by a calf injury of his own Sunday, as well as the elevation of rookie Trey Lance to starting quarterback, the head coach gets specific later in his comments as to Kittle’s situation.

“The main thing was last week he was able to go today (Friday practice), and today he didn’t feel like he could,” Shanahan said. “So I mean, we have up until Sunday to decide, but that’s why it’s doubtful this week when it was questionable last week.”

Shanahan also confirmed it was a calf injury bothering Kittle, not any issue with his knee.

“Yeah, he never had anything with the knee,” Shanahan said in response to a reporter’s question.


Niners Offense Will Look Much Different in Week 5 Than Week 1

49ers starting qb

GettyTrey Lance (left) and Jimmy Garoppolo, quarterbacks of the San Francisco 49ers.

As noted above, Garoppolo will miss his first start of the season Sunday, but his absence from the playing field has hardly been uncommon since the quarterback arrived in San Francisco.

The first start of Lance’s career will be the 24th regular game Garoppolo has missed since signing a five-year, $137.5 million deal with the team in 2018. He has started 29 times since inking the deal.

While Lance will line up under center, tight end Ross Dwelley is currently the No. 2 on the Niners depth chart. A rookie running back is also likely to appear alongside the two newcomers to the starting lineup, either in the form of Elijah Mitchell or Trey Sermon.

Mitchell assumed the top spot in the backfield after veteran Raheem Mostert was lost for the season due to a knee injury against the Detroit Lions in Week 1. However, Mitchell hurt his shoulder in Week 2 against the Philadelphia Eagles, forcing him out of the lineup for the previous two weeks.

Sermon also injured himself in Philly, sustaining a concussion on the first carry of his NFL career. But he navigated league protocol to make it back in time for the Niners’ Week 3 matchup against the Green Bay Packers on Sunday, August 26.

Shanahan said Friday that both running backs will be available against the Cardinals. Mitchell has carried the ball 36 times this season, rushing for a total of 146 yards and 1 touchdown. Sermon has carried the ball 30 times, rushing for 128 yards and a slightly higher yard-per-carry average than Mitchell, according to ESPN.

READ NEXT: Niners Announce QB Decision For Cardinals Sunday


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