Kittle is one player 49ers can't lose to injury, Simms says


George Kittle's impact on the 49ers' offense can't be understated.

The tight end's combination of elite pass-catching and dedication to blocking make him worthy of being the NFL's highest-paid player at the position. 

That's why NBC Sports' Chris Simms believes if Kittle were to miss an extended period of time with an injury at this stage of the season, it would have the most detrimental impact on San Francisco's playoff aspirations.

"He could be such a decoy and such a big part, and he takes so much of the defense's attention," Simms told NBC Sports Bay Area. "It helps everybody else out, so Kittle probably being No. 1."

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Simms also identified Brandon Aiyuk and Fred Warner as integral players to the 49ers' playoff chances.

Kittle has caught 35 of his 45 targets so far this season for 435 yards and two touchdowns. He missed two games earlier this season with a knee issue, and the 49ers went 2-0 in his absence, although the two wins were against the lowly New York Giants and New York Jets.

But there's no question the 49ers' offense is much different with Kittle on the sideline.

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