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.
49ers’ TE George Kittle, listed as doubtful for today due to knee and ankle injuries, will not play against the Cardinals, per source.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) November 17, 2019
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.
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.
49ers’ WR Emmanuel Sanders, listed as questionable for today with a rib injury, will play Sunday vs. Cardinals, per source.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) November 17, 2019
49ers’ RB Matt Breida, listed as doubtful for today with an ankle injury, will not play vs. Cardinals, per source.
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.