George Kittle will not play on Sunday against the Dallas Cowboys, coach Kyle Shanahan announced on Friday.
The head coach wants to make sure there will be no long-term repercussions of the All-Pro tight end suiting up before he approves a return to action. The 49ers have had too many players aggravate injuries after returning and they want to avoid that with Kittle.
Shanahan did like what he saw from Kittle during practice this week even joking during a radio interview about how much better it made the practice look with the star tight end on the field.
“I know they way he looks this week gives him a chance these next two weeks,” Shanahan said on KNBR's "Murph and Mac" show Friday. “It was nice to see him out there. He looked good. He ran a little scout team. It was unbelievable how much better -- I told our scout team coaches they finally got our tight ends going on scout team.
“He looked fresh, but it’s all about what the doctors say after he goes. He got two days in this week and how he feels over the weekend, the soreness and stuff like that. That’s all the stuff you’re trying to debate, if there’s anything lingering and what the safety issues are if you put him back out there."
The 49ers will also be without both Tom Compton (concussion) and rookie Colton McKivitz (Reserve/COVID-19) on Sunday. Justin Skule will likely step in a right guard instead of journeyman Tony Bergstrom.
The 49ers only have five remaining players in the offensive line room that have previously played a game for the team. Skule played at right guard for a short time during training camp but has only played at tackle in both his college and NFL career.
“We move our guys a lot at training camp, some to just get through practices, some to just get through situations like this,” Shanahan said. “Everywhere we’ve moved Skule he’s been able to figure it out and do a good job. I know that’s a spot he doesn’t have a lot of time at, just that time at training camp.”