49ers

49ers injury report: George Kittle listed as doubtful to face Seahawks

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USATSI

49ers injury report: George Kittle listed as doubtful to face Seahawks

SANTA CLARA -- The 49ers do not expect to have Pro Bowl tight end George Kittle available Monday night at Levi's Stadium for the team’s biggest game in years.

Kittle, who injured his knee and ankle in the 49ers’ Week 9 win over the Arizona Cardinals, officially is listed as doubtful to face the Seattle Seahawks, coach Kyle Shanahan announced Saturday afternoon.

The 49ers (8-0) could seize command of the NFC West with a victory against the Seahawks (7-2), but they will likely have to do it without their best offensive player.

The 49ers do not expect Kittle to play, but he is listed as doubtful, leaving open the slight chance he might make a dramatic improvement to enable to get back on the field. Kittle is no stranger to playing with pain. He played eight games last season with torn rib cartilage and still set the NFL single-season record for receiving yards from a tight end with 1,377.

Kittle injured his left knee and ankle on the first play of the 49ers’ 28-25 victory over Arizona on Oct. 31, and the team didn't specify the nature of either injury.

Kittle was lined up on the right side of the 49ers’ offensive formation and moved to his left to block on a run play. Cardinals defensive end Chandler Jones, lined up on the opposite side, inadvertently struck Kittle with his helmet as he went to the ground to make a tackle on running back Tevin Coleman.

Kittle returned to the game and caught six passes for 79 yards and a touchdown against the Cardinals, but he was unable to finish the game. Ross Dwelley took over as the 49ers’ primary tight end and caught an 11-yard pass on a third-and-9 situation to seal the victory.

Dwelley is likely to make his fifth consecutive start after taking over for fullback Kyle Juszczyk, who missed the past four games. Juszczyk is expected back in the lineup on Monday night.

[RELATED: 49ers tight end Ross Dwelley ready for bigger role vs. Seahawks]

The 49ers could also activate veteran tight end Garrett Celek from the physically-unable-to-perform list to join Dwelley and Levine Toilolo on the depth chart. Celek returned to practice this week after undergoing surgery in June to repair a herniated disk in his back. The 49ers can wait until Monday at 1 p.m. to activate Celek for the game.

The 49ers would be without a huge part of their passing game if Kittle does not play. He leads the team with 46 receptions for 541 yards and two touchdowns.

49ers injury report

Doubtful
TE George Kittle (knee, ankle)
K Robbie Gould (groin)

Questionable
CB Ahkello Witherspoon (quad, foot)
OT Joe Staley (fibula)
OT Mike McGlinchey (knee)
RB Raheem Mostert (knee)

NFL offensive coach still not sold on 49ers' Jimmy Garoppolo long term

NFL offensive coach still not sold on 49ers' Jimmy Garoppolo long term

Jimmy Garoppolo balled out in the 49ers' thrilling 48-46 win over the Saints last Sunday.

For the third time this season, Garoppolo threw four touchdown passes in a game.

In guiding the 49ers to an NFC-best 11-2 record, Garoppolo has completed 69.5 percent of his passes for 3,245 yards. He's thrown 25 touchdowns to just 11 interceptions this season.

While Garoppolo's not in the MVP conversation, he's putting up solid numbers as the 49ers continue to rack up wins. But there is one anonymous NFC offensive coach that still hasn't quite bought into Garoppolo.

"I don’t think he can do it consistently, but he did it today," the coach told The Athletic's Mike Sando after the 49ers beat the Saints. "[Drew] Brees moved down the field and scored. That is what you expect. I didn’t know that Garoppolo would be able to do it, but he did it."

Sando noted that in his annual Quarterback Tiers survey, the coach in question had Garoppolo on the second tier in 2017. Last season, after Garoppolo suffered a torn ACL in Week 3, the coach moved Garoppolo down to the third tier of NFL quarterbacks.

Whether or not Garoppolo is an elite quarterback is up for debate. NBC Sports NFL analyst Chris Simms feels the 49ers quarterback is "really good," but doesn't consider him elite. But what is for certain is that Garoppolo is not a "third tier" quarterback. He doesn't have the gaudy numbers like Patrick Mahomes, Russell Wilson or Lamar Jackson, but Garoppolo has a 19-4 career record as a starter in the NFL. That can't be ignored.

[RELATED: Five 49ers to watch vs. Falcons]

Garoppolo will have another chance to impress the offensive coach Sunday when the 49ers host the Falcons at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara.

NFL rumors: Terrell Suggs, waived by Cardinals, wants to rejoin Ravens

NFL rumors: Terrell Suggs, waived by Cardinals, wants to rejoin Ravens

When the Arizona Cardinals waived veteran linebacker Terrell Suggs on Friday, 49ers fans instantly wondered if the top team in the NFC would try to claim T-Sizzle.

NBC Sports Bay Area's Matt Maiocco believes Suggs would be a fit for the 49ers due to injuries to Ronald Blair, Damontre Moore and Dee Ford.

But you can lower your expectations, 49ers fans.

ESPN's Adam Schefter reported Saturday, citing league sources, that Suggs would "strongly consider not reporting if a team other than the Baltimore Ravens claims him."

Suggs spent the first 16 years of his NFL career in Baltimore, so it's understandable that the Ravens are the only team he wants to play for.

While it appears Suggs won't be donning a 49ers' uniform, it would still make sense for the 49ers to put in a waiver claim on the 37-year-old.

Why?

Assuming Suggs gets through the 30 teams ahead of the 49ers in the waiver order, the 49ers would be wise to try to block the linebacker from going to the Ravens.

After all, the 49ers and Ravens could meet up in Super Bowl LIV, and the last thing San Francisco wants to see is T-Sizzle coming after Jimmy Garoppolo.

[RELATED: Five 49ers to watch vs. Falcons]

And you never know. Maybe coach Kyle Shanahan and general manager John Lynch can convince Suggs to play for the 49ers.

Suggs' fate will be decided Monday when teams can put in a waiver claim on him. No matter what happens, the 49ers absolutely should claim him.