The 49ers announced a slew of moves ahead of Sunday’s rematch with the Cardinals. Chief among them was the return of a certain star tight end.
San Francisco activated George Kittle from injured reserve on Saturday, setting the stage for him to play in a pivotal road matchup against a highly-touted division rival.
It’ll be interesting to see what kind of workload Kittle, who returned to practice Thursday, logs after Kyle Shanahan answered questions on Friday about his high usage.
“I think when you talk about workload for tight ends, it’s about training camp, it’s about practice, it’s about stuff like that,” Shanahan said. “When a guy’s not healthy, you’ve always got to do that. But I haven’t heard of people managing a tight end, especially one like Kittle.”
Kittle entered the season coming off injury troubles after spending the offseason recovering from a broken bone in his foot, which he ended his year after eight games. His latest IR stint came following a calf injury he sustained in Week 4.
On the year, Kittle has accumulated 19 reception for 227 yards. His energy, toughness and invaluable run-blocking ability will provide a welcomed boost to a Niners offense that has battled injuries all year; Jimmy Garoppolo, Trent Williams and rookie running back Elijah Mitchell were among those impacted.
It’s worth mentioning that Kittle and Jimmy G were both absent for San Fran’s 17-10 loss to Arizona back in Week 5. Rookie Trey Lance and Ross Dwelley started in their places, respectively.
The Niners also activated veteran kicker Robbie Gould (groin) from IR, and RB Jeff Wilson Jr. from the physically unable to perform list. Defensive lineman Dee Ford was placed on IR with a back injury.
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