Jimmy Garoppolo might once again be without his favorite target when the 49ers host the Cardinals on Sunday.
San Francisco head coach Kyle Shanahan said Wednesday on a conference call with Cardinals reporters that tight end George Kittle will miss the game against Arizona.
Speaking about the 49ers' depth at tight end, Shanahan said "we're getting (Garrett) Celek back, but we won't have Kittle."
To no surprise, Shanahan's comments made waves around the internet as multiple reporters tweeted out his comments that Kittle has been ruled out.
49ers coach Kyle Shanahan said TE George Kittle will not play Sunday against the Cardinals. Kittle did a lot of damage against the Cards in the first matchup.— Darren Urban (@Cardschatter) November 14, 2019
However, a 49ers representative later clarified to NBC Sports Bay Area's Matt Maiocco that Shanahan misspoke on the conference call. The 49ers coach doesn't expect Kittle to play Sunday, but he won't rule him out at this time.
A #49ers spokesman said Kyle Shanahan meant to tell the Arizona media that he has to plan for TE George Kittle not playing on Sunday but he also would not rule him out at this point.— Matt Maiocco (@MaioccoNBCS) November 14, 2019
Kittle also sat out the 49ers' Week 10 overtime loss to the Seahawks with knee and ankle injuries. He originally was injured on San Francisco's first offensive play in the Week 9 win in Arizona, but still managed to catch six passes for 79 yards and a touchdown in that 28-25 victory. Kittle leads all 49ers' pass-catchers in receptions (46), receiving yards (541), yards after the catch (300) and first downs (28).
That's not the only bad news for Jimmy G, as he might be without his other top target as well. Emmanuel Sanders still is "day-to-day" with a rib injury and is considered a game-time decision for Sunday.
Sanders injured his ribs in the first half of the loss to Seattle. He led all 49ers' receivers with seven receptions for 112 yards and a score in the Week 9 win over the Cardinals, and has been a dependable safety valve ever since coming over from Denver at the trade deadline.
The 49ers are heavy favorites over the Cardinals, but missing Kittle and/or Sanders would make Garoppolo's job much tougher on Sunday.