George Kittle’s knee injury is apparently worse than he let on.
Kittle, who suffered a knee sprain in the San Francisco 49ers’ season-opening defeat against the Arizona Cardinals last week, was officially ruled out of Sunday’s matchup against the New York Jets, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
49ers ruled out TE George Kittle (knee) for Sunday's game vs. the Jets.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) September 18, 2020
Kittle took a hit near the end of the first half of the 24-20 loss to the Cardinals and hobbled off to the sideline. He left for the locker room early, but returned to the game in the second half. He wasn’t targeted again in the contest, ending with four receptions for 44 yards.
He downplayed the injury after the game.
“I feel fantastic,” he said, via ESPN. “Fantastic. Not an issue at all.”
Niners general manager John Lynch said Friday that the team wasn’t willing to risk Kittle getting hurt again right away. They’ve “really got to be smart,” he said, even if Kittle is pushing to take the field.
“George is obviously very important,” Lynch said, via SFGate, “and George is one of those guys who is going to want to play every time, so we have to be very judicious.”
It’s unclear when Kittle will return.
The 49ers will also be without cornerback Richard Sherman — who was placed on the injured reserve list this week with a calf injury — and cornerback Jason Verrett with a hamstring injury. Defensive end Dee Ford was listed as questionable for Sunday with a neck injury.
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