George Kittle injured his right shoulder in a 2018 preseason game. He refuses to get it fixed.
The 49ers tight end revealed on Pardon My Take podcast that he has played the past two seasons with a torn labrum, which is why he wears a gray protective sleeve.
“So I dislocated my shoulder last year,” Kittle said, “and my labrum is completely torn. So I don’t get surgery on it — [The protective sleeve] basically helps me, so it doesn’t hurt all the time.”
Kittle missed two regular-season games in 2019 with ankle and knee injuries. He played 88 percent of the snaps in 2018 and 76 percent in 14 games this season.
He said there’s “no chance” he gets surgery on his shoulder.
“I can’t miss those workout days, man,” Kittle said.
Cowboys defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence played with a torn labrum for two seasons but finally had surgery to repair it.
Kittle, 26, is eligible for a new contract and has earned a big pay day with two Pro Bowls and an All-Pro in his three seasons.