The San Francisco 49ers will have star George Kittle back in the line-up for the NFL clash against the Philadelphia Eagles, but quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo will sit out another week.
All-Pro tight end Kittle has missed back-to-back games due to a knee injury sustained in the Week 1 loss to the Arizona Cardinals.
But Kittle and receiver Deebo Samuel (fractured left foot) will return as the 49ers (2-1) face the Eagles (0-2-1) in Week 4 on Sunday, head coach Kyle Shanahan said on Friday.
“It’s great getting Kittle back,” Shanahan said after Kittle sat out the 36-9 win over the New York Giants in Week 3. “We were close last week and then you don’t.
“I think that was what was tough a little bit about the Jordan Reed loss, because of how well he was playing and everything when we lost him during the game.
“But, being able to pull that off and still win and then get Kittle back this week, I think it excites guys a lot.”
— San Francisco 49ers (@49ers) October 2, 2020
Last season’s Super Bowl finalists the 49ers, however, will be without star signal-caller Garoppolo again as he continues to recover from a high right ankle sprain.
Garoppolo went down with an ankle injury in the 31-13 Week 2 success against the lowly New York Jets, and he has not featured since.
“I think you should be [cautious], but you don’t think of it in terms of it’s a long season. There’s 13 more games to go,” Shanahan said. “The NFL, I mean, we started 8-0 and only lost three games and winning your division still comes down to the last play of the year.
“So I’ve been in this game too long to take any game for granted. So it’s not like you ever think in terms of, guys will talk that way and stuff, but anyone who has been in this league just reminds you that this game is just as important as Game 16.
“So it [not playing Garoppolo] has more to do with can they protect themselves, are they risking a long term injury. If they are [I’m] definitely not [playing them].”