49ers TE Kittle to be activated for game vs. Cardinals
San Francisco 49ers standout tight end George Kittle is expected to play in Saturday’s game against the Arizona Cardinals, coach Kyle Shanahan said Thursday.
Kittle sustained a fractured foot on Nov. 1 against the Seattle Seahawks and was placed on injured reserve four days later. He has missed the past six games and San Francisco has gone 1-5 without him.
Shanahan said the 49ers will remove Kittle from the injured list within the next day.
“He looked great this week,” Shanahan said. “Just talked to him, he said he felt good here after practice so I’m expecting him to go.”
With the 49ers (5-9) eliminated from postseason play, the decision to activate Kittle for meaningless games will likely draw some scrutiny. But Shanahan sees no reason why a now-healthy player should sit out.
“He’s probably one of the healthiest guys we have right now,” Shanahan said. “He had two good weeks of practice, feels great after it. We wouldn’t put him out there at all if there was any risk of re-injuring this or he wasn’t healed. But we’ve got a lot of guys going out there and everyone has got stuff on the line every time they step out.
“Whether you have two games left and you’re not in the playoffs or whether it’s the first game of the year, that’s what these guys do. If they’re healthy enough to do it, that’s what you do on our team.”
Kittle, 27, has 37 receptions for 474 yards and two touchdowns in six games this season.
Kittle topped 80 receptions and 1,000 receiving yards in each of the past two seasons while solidifying himself as one of the league’s top tight ends. He made the Pro Bowl in both seasons.
–Field Level Media