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49ers Rumors: George Kittle's Groin Injury 'Not Good'; Unlikely for Week 1 vs. Bears

Erin WalshSeptember 8, 2022

Logan Riely/Getty Images

The San Francisco 49ers could be without one of their top pass-catchers Sunday against the Chicago Bears.

Star tight end George Kittle is dealing with a groin injury that is considered "not good," according to Pro Football Network's Aaron Wilson. A source told Wilson that the injury is serious enough that it "would be best" for him to miss Week 1.

A source told Wilson that Kittle has a Grade 2 groin strain that has limited his speed.

"One of the top tight ends in the game and well known for his toughness, Kittle wouldn't shock anyone if he opted to play through the injury," Wilson wrote. "Nonetheless, 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."

Kittle injured his groin during practice Monday and didn't participate in Wednesday's practice.

The three-time Pro Bowler enters the 2022 campaign coming off a 2021 season that saw him catch 71 passes for 910 yards and six touchdowns in 14 games. He is expected to be one of second-year quarterback Trey Lance's top targets this season.

However, if he's sidelined, Lance will rely more heavily on wide receivers Deebo Samuel, Brandon Aiyuk and Jauan Jennings.

The 49ers also have Charlie Woerner, Ross Dwelley and Tyler Kroft available at tight end. Kroft, an eighth-year veteran, could see most of the time filling in for Kittle.

Niners head coach Kyle Shanahan told reporters Wednesday while speaking about Kroft:

"We've been a fan of Kroft his whole career. I was a real big fan of him coming out of college. And he's done well everywhere he's been. He had some injury trouble last year, I think the last couple years he's struggled to stay out there. I think that's one of the reasons we were able to get him. But Kroft, he's an NFL tight end. We feel very fortunate to have him here."

After facing the Bears, the 49ers will host the Seattle Seahawks for Week 2.

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