Kittle has emerged as one of the league's most productive tight ends since the Niners selected him in the fifth round of the 2017 NFL draft. He enjoyed a breakout campaign in 2018 when he recorded 88 catches for 1,377 yards and five touchdowns.
The 26-year-old University of Iowa product was putting together another strong season in 2019 before suffering knee and ankle injuries in Week 9 against the Cardinals that caused him to miss Monday's 27-24 loss to the Seattle Seahawks. So far this season, Kittle has 46 receptions on 57 targets for a team-leading 541 yards as well as two touchdowns.
He'd previously appeared in 31 of a possible 32 games over his first two professional seasons.
San Francisco is likely to use a committee approach to fill the void in any game their star tight end misses. Ross Dwelley, Garrett Celek and Levine Toilolo are all likely to receive playing time.
Kittle is a key cog in a 49ers offense and has remained productive despite the lack of a high-powered passing game. His presence will be difficult, if not impossible, to replace whenever he's out, especially on third down and in the red zone.