49ers

NFL rumors: 49ers' George Kittle, Matt Breida out in Cardinals rematch

NFL rumors: 49ers' George Kittle, Matt Breida out in Cardinals rematch

Whatever mystery there was surrounding George Kittle's health status for the 49ers' Week 11  game against the Cardinals reportedly has now been solved.

ESPN's Adam Schefter reported late Saturday night that San Francisco's All-Pro tight end will not play Sunday against Arizona, citing a source.

The aforementioned mystery was some of the 49ers' own doing. After Kittle was listed as day-to-day at the beginning of the week, San Francisco coach Kyle Shanahan told Cardinals reporters on Thursday that Kittle would not play Sunday, only to have the organization walk those comments back hours later. 

Kittle sat out the 49ers' Week 10 loss to the Seahawks. He originally was injured on San Francisco's first offensive play in the Week 9 win in Arizona, but still managed to catch six passes for 79 yards and a touchdown in that 28-25 victory. Kittle leads all 49ers' pass-catchers in receptions (46), receiving yards (541), yards after the catch (300) and first downs (28).

Ross Dwelley is expected to start in Kittle's place at tight end against the Cardinals on Sunday. While Shanahan and the 49ers have confidence in Dwelley, there's no question San Francisco's offense will be negatively impacted by Kittle's absence.

[RELATED: 49ers-Cardinals predictions: SF should win despite injuries]

Kittle reportedly won't be the 49ers' only key offensive contributor to sit on the sidelines Sunday. Matt Breida, San Francisco's leading rusher, will not play against Arizona, Schefter reported Sunday morning.

Raheem Mostert, who is third on the 49ers' depth chart behind Breida and Coleman, should get a workload in line with his early-season numbers. Coleman left the 49ers' Week 1 win over Tampa Bay with an injury and didn't play again until Week 5, and Mostert averaged just over 11 carries per game during Coleman's absence. 

Down their leading receiver and rusher, the 49ers' depth will need to step up Sunday to get San Francisco back in the win column. 

49ers-Falcons odds, predictions: Betting lines, picks for NFL Week 15 game

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49ers-Falcons odds, predictions: Betting lines, picks for NFL Week 15 game

The 49ers (11-2) say they aren't taking the Atlanta Falcons (4-9) lightly this week, but Las Vegas might be. 

San Francisco is a massive favorite ahead of Sunday's game at Levi's Stadium, favored by as many as 11 points. It marks the fourth-time the 49ers have been double-digit favorites in a game this season, but the NFC West leaders have not covered the spread in any of those prior contests. 

The fourth time could be the charm Sunday as Kyle Shanahan coaches against the Falcons for the first time. Shanahan was Atlanta's offensive coordinator from 2015 through 2016, including during the Falcons' 34-28 loss to the New England Patriots in Super Bowl LI. In other words, prepare yourself for plenty of "28-3" references during the game. 

[RELATED: Why Shanahan isn't worried about Falcons being trap game]

Here's how Las Vegas and experts around the country see Sunday's game playing out.

Line

Caesars: SF -11
Consensus: SF -11
Westgate: SF -10
Wynn: SF -11

Predictions

Nick Wagoner, ESPN: 49ers 28, Falcons 21
Vaughn McClure: 49ers 30, Falcons 20
Mike Florio, Pro Football Talk: 49ers 28, Falcons 3
Michael David Smith, Pro Football Talk: 49ers 23, Falcons 10
Gregg Rosenthal, NFL Media: 49ers 40, Falcons 21

49ers vs. Falcons live stream: How to watch NFL Week 15 game online

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49ers vs. Falcons live stream: How to watch NFL Week 15 game online

The 49ers are back in control of the NFC's top seed, but they aren't in the clear just yet. 

San Francisco (11-2) hosts the Atlanta Falcons (4-9) on Sunday at Levi's Stadium, but the gap between these two teams might not be as pronounced as their records. The Falcons have won three of their last five games, beating the Carolina Panthers 40-20 in Atlanta last week. Ranking seventh in the NFL in total offense (4,894 yards), the Falcons have accumulated more yards than all but three of the 49ers' opponents this season (Baltimore Ravens, Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Seattle Seahawks).

Although the 49ers are (at least) a game ahead of the NFC's top contenders, they can't afford a loss with a Week 17 showdown against the Seahawks looming. Clinching their first 12-win season since 2013 with a victory Sunday will go a long way towards home-field advantage. 

[RELATED: Could Suggs stay in NFC West, join injury-riddled 49ers?]

Here's how to watch Sunday's 49ers-Falcons game online and on TV. 

Start time: Sunday, Dec. 15, at 1:25 p.m. PT
TV Channel: FOX
Live Stream: fuboTV -- Get a free trial