The San Francisco 49ers may be forced to face one of their biggest rivals this weekend without arguably their greatest offensive weapon.
Niners’ All-Pro tight end George Kittle remained questionable on Friday, October 1 for the team’s Sunday afternoon showdown with NFC West Division rival Seattle Seahawks. Kittle continues battling a calf injury that could keep him sidelined depending on how rehabilitation sessions progress over the next 36 hours.
Cam Inman, with Bay Area News Group, tweeted out some of Kittle’s comments to reporters Friday, in which the tight end indicated he will suit up against the Seahawks if it is at all possible.
“#49ers George Kittle: ‘Dealing with some swelling, little pain and doing what we can to make sure I’m available Sunday,’” Inman tweeted. “‘I’m going to do everything I can to be on the field Sunday. If my body says I can go, I’ll be out there.’”
The tight end participated in non-contact running drills prior to Friday’s practice and was a limited participant throughout the day.
Injuries Continue to Mount in San Francisco
Kittle’s is not the only status up in the air for Sunday.
On Friday, the Niners released the practice report detailing the injury statuses of notable players via the team’s official Twitter account.
“George Kittle, Elijah Mitchell questionable, Josh Norman doubtful vs. Seahawks,” the team tweeted.
Mitchell, the rookie running back who took over the starting role following the loss of Raheem Mostert for the season due to a knee injury, suffered a shoulder injury late in San Francisco’s Week 2 victory over the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday, September 19. Mitchell sat out against the Green Bay Packers last week.
Fellow rookie rusher Trey Sermon suffered a concussion against the Eagles, but made it through the league’s protocol in time to earn the first start of his career against the Packers. He carried the ball 10 times, gaining 31 yards and scoring a touchdown, likely earning himself the starting nod Sunday when the Seahawks come to town.
Norman, one of several replacements added at the cornerback position already this season, saw his first minutes of the year against the Packers. However, he suffered a helmet to the chest during that game, which required an overnight hospital stay and appears likely to sideline the 9-year NFL veteran for at least one game.
The Niners are likely to elevate either Dre Kirkpatrick or Deommodore Lenoir to a starting cornerback role Sunday in Norman’s stead.
Rounding Out the Niners’ Injury Roster
Defensive tackle Javon Kinlaw was a limited participant in Friday’s practice with a knee injury and remains questionable for Sunday’s game, while cornerback K’Waun Williams missed practice with a calf injury and is listed as out against the Seahawks.
Defensive end Arik Armstead has been a full-go at practice all week with an adductor injury and will play Sunday, as will defensive lineman Nick Bosa, who missed Wednesday’s practice for non-injury related reasons but was on the field both Thursday and Friday.