49ers tight end George Kittle said last week that he expects to return from a broken bone in his foot “sooner than later,” but head coach Kyle Shanahan sent a different message after Monday night’s loss to the Bills.
Shanahan was asked about the prospect of getting Kittle and quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo back into the lineup. Garoppolo suffered a high-ankle sprain in the team’s November 1 loss to the Seahawks, which was the same day that Kittle was injured and Shanahan suggested both players need more time before they can think about activating them from injured reserve.
“Those guys are working their tails off right now,” Shanahan said, via Chris Biderman of the Sacramento Bee. “But they’re still part of the rehab, just trying to get back and be a part of this, but it’s not anytime soon right now.”
Monday night’s loss dealt a blow to the 49ers’ playoff hopes and another blow against Washington in Week 14 would leave little reason to think they can return to the postseason. That might impact any decision to bring Kittle and Garoppolo back at all before the year is out.