San Francisco 49ers tight end George Kittle ‘pretty happy’ to be making season debut Sunday night

SANTA CLARA, Calif. — The last time San Francisco 49ers tight end George Kittle played against the Denver Broncos in the regular season, it was the most productive day of his NFL career. That means Kittle is back from a groin injury that kept him on the sidelines for the first two weeks of the season.

Yes, Kittle will make his debut against the Broncos on Sunday night, coach Kyle Shanahan confirmed Friday afternoon.

“He’s happy,” Shanahan said. “I think he’s getting better every day. He means a lot in both ways [the run and pass game]. Kittel has been one of the best players we have here over the years. We have to get him back into football form because he hasn’t played for a while, but he’s helped us in every way. “

Kittle made it through the practice week, taking the first two classes on a limited basis and focusing on Friday. He was not named in the injury report on Friday.

“I’m very happy,” Kittel said Thursday. “Just a breath of fresh air to be honest. It feels great to be back at football with the boys. I love our show crew. They’ve done a fantastic job of bringing us back together, but I’m not really going to Seeing them for the rest of the season. So, it’s really nice to be back there to catch the ball and actually be able to put on the pads and hit people.”

Kittle initially suffered a groin injury on Sept. 5 as a “bonus” practice for the Niners ahead of their season opener against the Chicago Bears. He didn’t play that week or last week’s game against the Seattle Seahawks, although he did play in his first practice on Sept. 16.

Having Kittle back means Niners quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo will have a full pass receiver for his first start of the season as he replaces injured quarterback Trey Lance (right). ankle fracture). Kittle wouldn’t mind his performance if he had his final meeting with the Broncos on December 9, 2018.

In the 20-14 San Francisco victory, Kittle had seven catches for 210 yards and a touchdown. All of those injuries occurred in the first half, and Kittle was eliminated in the second half, putting him just shy of Shannon Sharp’s record for finishing yards in a game (214).

Regardless of the opponent, Kittle is clearly excited to be back on the field, noting that he is “a little itchy” to return.

“But that’s what Sunday night football is about,” Kittle said. “Just go there and put everything there. It’s going to be fun.”

One 49er who may not join Kittle on the court Sunday night is defensive lineman Arik Armstead. Armstead is dealing with a foot injury, and his status is still up in the air, although Shanahan said Wednesday he hoped he was “okay.” Armstead is officially listed as having problems, but has not practiced this week.

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