SANTA CLARA — The ever-positive George Kittle says there’s no reason to worry about the extra padding he has been wearing around his waist since Week 16.
“I feel great and can’t wait to play Saturday,” the 49ers' star tight end told NBC Sports Bay Area on Wednesday.
Kittle wore the extra padding in the 49ers’ final two games of the regular season against the Los Angeles Rams and Seattle Seahawks. It appears very similar to what he wore during the second half of the 2018 season after he sustained a rib cartilage injury in Week 9.
Like last season, Kittle has not spoken about the padding and has not been listed on any practice or injury reports for a rib injury. He has also not missed any time since Weeks 10 and 11 when he sat out due to knee and ankle injuries.
Despite any lingering pain -- which includes a bone chip in his ankle -- the third-year pro has remained the biggest playmaker on the 49ers' offense, culminating in being named first-team All-Pro. He leads the 49ers with 1,053 receiving yards and 85 completions, even after sitting out two games.
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Expect the same all-world production from Kittle in the postseason, starting this Saturday against the Minnesota Vikings at Levi's Stadium.