49ers relieved as Kittle's hamstring passed all tests


SANTA CLARA -- When George Kittle’s day ended a little early at practice on Wednesday, there was obvious concern for the All-Pro tight end. 

On Friday, coach Kyle Shanahan appeared slightly relieved while faced with the challenge of trying to find the balance between players getting reps and keeping them heathy. 

“He’s good with all the testing so there’s nothing pulled or strained, just tightness,” Shanahan said. “The way George moves and the way he goes, he only knows one way so when he’s tight were going to protect him from himself and wait until he’s not tight.” 

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Kittle sat out of practice on Friday at Levi’s Stadium but was seen on the sidelines chatting with fullback Kyle Juszczyk, who also was missing practice due to a tight hamstring. 

With the extended offseason and lack of minicamps and OTAs, training staffs across the league are in uncharted territory in attempting to get players back into football shape. 

Kittle is a game-changer on the field and Shanahan is much more concerned with his long term availability than his participation at training camp practices. For now, the rest of the tight ends will work in the rest of the group during team drills. 

Taking reps in Kittle place were rookies Charlie Woerner, Chase Harrell and Jordan Reed. The former Washington tight end is also being worked back in gradually after more than a season away from football. Ross Dwelley remains out with an undisclosed foot injury.