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49ers' George Kittle Reportedly Being Placed on IR with Calf Injury; out 3 Games

Paul KasabianSenior ContributorOctober 9, 2021

San Francisco 49ers tight end George Kittle is pictured during the first half of an NFL football game against the Seattle Seahawks2, Sunday, Nov. 1, 2020, in Seattle. The Seahawks won 37-27. (AP Photo/Stephen Brashear)
Stephen Brashear/Associated Press

San Francisco 49ers tight end George Kittle is going on injured reserve because of a calf issue, according to NBC Sports Bay Area's Matt Maiocco.

Kittle will have to miss at least three games before he's eligible to return, and Maiocco reported the Niners are hopeful he'll be available Nov. 7 when they play the Arizona Cardinals.

Kittle, a two-time Pro Bowler who earned All-Pro honors in 2019, has caught 19 passes for 227 yards in four games this season.

Last season, Kittle suffered a knee sprain in Week 1 against the Arizona Cardinals and missed two games. He returned in Week 4 against the Philadelphia Eagles, catching 15 passes for 183 yards and a touchdown.

However, Kittle suffered a small fracture in his foot against the Seattle Seahawks on Nov. 1. He missed the 49ers' next six games and returned for their matchup against the Cardinals on Dec. 26.

The 49ers suffered numerous injuries to key starters on both sides of the ball en route to their last-place finish in the NFC West and sorely missed Kittle, who snagged 85 passes for 1,053 yards and five touchdowns in 2019 for the eventual NFC champions.

San Francisco finished second in points per game in 2019 but fell to 21stย in that statistic in 2020.

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The 49ers' replacement for Kittle in 2021 is Ross Dwelley, who hasย one catch for 21 yards and one touchdown this year. He had a career-high 245 receiving yards in 2020. Charlie Woerner is listed behind Dwelley on the depth chart.

However, Kittle is the 49ers' top offensive weapon, and he led the team in receiving in 2020 despite missing eight games. He's an indispensable part of the team's offense, and San Francisco needs him back as soon as possible.

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