49ers TE George Kittle likely out for Week 1 with 'serious' groin injury: report

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Sep. 7, 2022Updated: Sep. 8, 2022 12:56 p.m.

 George Kittle of the San Francisco 49ers acknowledges fans prior to the preseason game at NRG Stadium against the Houston Texans on August 25, 2022 in Houston.

FILE: George Kittle of the San Francisco 49ers acknowledges fans prior to the preseason game at NRG Stadium against the Houston Texans on August 25, 2022 in Houston.

Logan Riely/Getty Images

LATEST Sept. 8, 12:50 p.m. George Kittle is probably out Sunday against the Bears, according to a Pro Football Network report. His groin injury is "not good," and the tight end is "unlikely" to play in Week 1, according to the report. 

Sept. 7, 2:35 p.m. Another season, another mysterious ailment for George Kittle: The 49ers' star tight end is day-to-day with a groin injury, head coach Kyle Shanahan told media on Wednesday. 

The news of this specific issue comes as a surprise, but Kittle has struggled with leg injuries since posting back-to-back thousand-yard and All-Pro seasons in 2018 and 2019. He missed half of the 2020 season with a broken foot and injured knee, and missed three games last year with a nagging calf problem.

His status for the Niners' season opener against the Bears on Sept. 11 is in doubt now, as Shanahan categorized him as day-to-day. "I was hoping he'd be good today," Shanahan said Wednesday. "He did it a little on Monday and not feeling good today."

Kittle was a key part of the 49ers offense last year when healthy, putting up 910 yards on 71 catches in 14 games. New starting quarterback Trey Lance needs every playmaker he can get, with Jimmy Garoppolo suddenly looking over his shoulder. (Kittle was voted a captain by his teammates Wednesday; Lance was not.) 

Shanahan said he was "not sure" how severe Kittle's injury was. If Kittle can't go, Charlie Woerner is listed second on the depth chart. He has eight career catches in two years in San Francisco. Tyler Kroft, who joined the 49ers in the spring and was briefly cut last week before returning, could also see action if Kittle's out.

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