George Kittle tried to push through pain, couldn’t

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Winning is quite an anesthetic.

Even though he wasn’t able to finish last night’s game because of a knee injury, 49ers tight end George Kittle didn’t seem to be bothered by it in his post-game press conference.

Via Matt Maiocco of, Kittle was asked how he felt after the 28-25 win over the Cardinals that kept the team perfect, and he replied: “Great. You kidding me? Eight and oh.”

Maybe so, but with the game on the line, one of their most reliable targets was on the sideline. Kittle took a helmet to his knee from Cardinals outside linebacker Chandler Jones on the first offensive play, and was clearly bothered. He left the game briefly, then returned, but wasn’t able to finish.

His replacement, Ross Dwelley, caught a key third-down conversion after the two-minute warning, allowing the 49ers to run out the clock.

“In football, stuff happens,” Kittle said. “You either decide to go back out or you don’t. I tried to give my team everything I could, and in the fourth quarter, I really couldn’t go any more. I’m happy to have a guy like Ross Dwelley in there stepping up. Can’t say enough about Ross and the play he made. I’m so happy for him. . . .

“I know once something happens, you try to push through it as much as you can, but there comes a point if I feel like I’m a liability to the team, and I’m not the best man for the job, I definitely have to [leave the game]. I talked to my coach about it and we made a decision about it. Definitely thought Dwelley was definitely more mobile than I was in the fourth quarter.”

Coach Kyle Shanahan said afterward that Kittle was dealing with a knee and ankle injury, in addition to the groin issue he’s been dealing with in recent weeks. Along with the injury to linebacker Kwon Alexander, who left with a pectoral issue, the 49ers have some significant concerns to follow up on today.

7 responses to “George Kittle tried to push through pain, couldn’t

  1. Hope the knee thing turns out to be minor and that George is fine. Kittle is good friends with Packers TE Bobby Tonyan. They train together in the offseason and lived together in Nashville this past offseason.

    With Graham and Lewis most likely gone after this season the Packers will look to Jace Sternberger and Tonyan to be their #1 and #2 TE’s next season. I like the upside of both. Let them fight it out in camp for the #1 job.


  2. I say this as a Belichick/Pats fan who also likes JimmyG and Shanahan: two 8-0 teams who are probably closer to 6-2 than perfect. But you can only play what’s in front of you. I’m not sure the pressure of staying “perfect” helps anyway – all that matters is homefield advantage.

  3. You forgot to mention that after Kittle was injured and came back in hobbling; he had a reception where he stiff armed Buddah Baker to the ground and ran in for a touchdown.

  4. They barely beat a less than mediocre Cardinals team. That’s not a good look going forward.

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