Despite George Kittle's most optimistic hopes, his season likely is over.
The 49ers star injured his foot last Sunday while making a spectacular catch during the 37-27 loss to the Seattle Seahawks, and coach Kyle Shanahan expects the tight end to miss the next eight weeks.
49ers general manager John Lynch clarified the exact nature of Kittle's injury in an interview with Greg Papa on "49ers Game Plan," airing at 9:30 p.m. Wednesday night on NBC Sports Bay Area.
"As soon as we learned what happened, the severity, right away, the X-ray, we said, 'I think we're good,'" Lynch said. "Now we've got to look at foot sprains and things because he is uncomfortable.
"The next day, they did a higher-resolution, I think a CT scan, which revealed the fracture in kind of an odd bone. It's not the typical Jones fracture. It's something else. I wouldn't even try to say it. It's an odd football injury, but I think better than the Jones fracture."
Lynch later revealed the exact fracture occurred in Kittle's cuboid bone, and that there are no concerns about the lasting impact of the injury.
"So, the prognosis is good, long-term," Lynch said. "It's just going to take a little while. The exact time, we're still trying to zero in on that. With feet, there's people who specialize in this, so you get those opinions, and then they coordinate with our docs, and we get kind of our timeline. So, that's still up in the air."
Kittle still is holding out hope to make a return this season. While eight weeks from now would put the timeline right up against the end of the season, Shanahan admitted that Kittle hopes to beat that timeline.
"I think they told me eight weeks," Shanahan told reporters Tuesday. "Kittle says two, but that's how he rolls. That's why he'll go on IR and if it's better than what they're saying, he’ll have a chance to come back this year, but eight weeks is eight weeks."
With the 49ers sitting at 4-4 and in last place in the ultra-competitive NFC West, it is unlikely that Kittle plays another snap this year unless quarterback Nick Mullens can lead the injury-ravaged squad into the playoff picture.
Without Kittle and starting QB Jimmy Garoppolo, running back Raheem Mostert, cornerback Richard Sherman and edge rusher Nick Bosa, among plenty of others, the 49ers face an uphill battle to make it back to the postseason.
Lynch, not surprisingly, is taking the long-term approach to Kittle's health, who he expects to be in a walking boot for the next few weeks.
"George is a guy, obviously you know, he's always going to want to play. We're going to do what's right for George and the team for the long-term here," Lynch said.
Kittle has 37 catches for 474 yards and two touchdowns in six games played in 2020. Along with the rest of the 49ers, he hopes to be back better than ever for the postponed "revenge tour" in 2021.