Jimmy Garoppolo set for preseason debut; three 49ers healthy scratches

Jimmy Garoppolo set for preseason debut; three 49ers healthy scratches

DENVER – Three of the 49ers’ top players from their two days of practices against the Denver Broncos will not suit up for the preseason game on Monday night.

Defensive lineman DeForest Buckner, and linebackers Fred Warner and Kwon Alexander will sit out, the 49ers announced. All three are believed to be healthy, but there was no immediate word why coach Kyle Shanahan chose to sit them out.

Buckner caused a disturbance during the practices with his pass-rush, while Warner and Alexander agitated the Broncos with their talk and energy.

Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo is expected to see limited action while making the start. He has not played since sustaining a torn ACL in his left knee in Week 3 of last season in Kansas City.

[RELATED: Mailbag: 10 questions before 49ers-Broncos preseason game]

Among the 49ers who are not expected to play due to injuries are:

RB Jerick McKinnon (knee)
TE George Kittle (calf)
TE Levine Toilolo (shoulder)
TE Garrett Celek (PUP-back)
WR Trent Taylor (foot)
G Mike Person (foot)
G Joshua Garnett (finger)
C Weston Richburg (PUP-knee)
DE Dee Ford (knee)
DE Nick Bosa (ankle)
DE Ronald Blair (groin)
DT D.J. Jones (knee)
LB Elijah Lee (thumb)
CB Jason Verrett (ankle)
CB K’Waun Williams (knee)
FS Jimmie Ward (collarbone)

Watch ex-49ers assistant Keanon Lowe disarm gunman at Portland school


Watch ex-49ers assistant Keanon Lowe disarm gunman at Portland school

It's a video that has gone viral of a moment an Oregon coach disarmed a student who entered a school possessing a firearm.

Keanon Lowe, a former 49ers assistant coach, now serves as the head football coach and security guard at Parkrose High School in Portland, Ore. He's also a hero after preventing a shooting when he embraced a gunman and caused them to surrender his weapon:

The gunman walked into one of the buildings at the school with a shotgun hidden under a jacket he was carrying in his arms on May 17.

“I just wanted to let him know that I was there for him," Lowe told reporters. "I told him I was there to save him. I was there for a reason and that this is a life worth living.”

Lowe is also a former standout star wide receiver at the University of Oregon. 

“The universe works in amazing ways," Lowe added. "I’m lucky and I’m happy that I was in that classroom for all those kids and I was able to prevent that tragedy."

Nobody was injured in the events.

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How 49ers' George Kittle went from 'scrawny' receiver to elite tight end

How 49ers' George Kittle went from 'scrawny' receiver to elite tight end

George Kittle wasn’t always the hulking, 250-pound tight end that set the NFL single-season receiving mark for a the position in just his second NFL season.

When he showed up at the University of Iowa, Kittle was a 6-foot-2, 185-pound high school wide receiver with a strong work ethic. 

It was in Iowa City that Kittle’s body underwent a dramatic transformation.

"If you look at any of his high school photos, it will blow your mind," Kittle's mom Jan said.

"He was scrawny when he came to Iowa,” Kittle’s wife Claire said. “But I think that's kind of just how a lot of people are. So they grow into their body and they become the man that they're supposed to be.”

“He certainly embraced our program, he worked very hard,” Iowa Strength and Conditioning coach Chris Doyle told NBC Sports Bay Area. “Had to change his eating habits and change his lifestyle from that regard to kind of grow into just the process of becoming a Division I football player.”

In addition to growing several inches during his time with the Hawkeyes, Kittle put on a whopping 35 pounds during his college career.

“It's overwhelming every single time I see him,” Emma Kittle, George’s older sister, said. “Because he’s still George, and like my little brother. But like physically, he is a man.”

He certainly plays like a man on the field, as the 26-year-old has blossomed into one of the NFL’s top tight ends, even earning a second-team All-Pro designation after his breakout 2018 season.

The Kittle family certainly is not short on impressive athletes, as his father Bruce was also a tight end at Iowa and sister Emma was a Division I volleyball player at Iowa and Oklahoma. His mother Jan lettered in both basketball and softball at Drake University.

[RELATED: Kittle among players to watch vs. Washington]

While puberty may have set in a little later than most for George, his dedication to his craft has manifested itself as he now stands as the No. 1 receiving option on an undefeated 49ers team.

“I've witnessed everything that he's done so far and like all the hard work,” Emma said. “And so to see him succeeding at this level is like, he was born to do this. He was born to have the spotlight on him. He was born to have this type of pressure, like to carry people to work this hard.”