The 49ers are a long-shot to make the postseason, but if they make a run, they could be getting some significant reinforcements.
Head coach Kyle Shanahan on Tuesday indicated George Kittle, Jimmy Garoppolo and Ben Garland, all of whom are on Injured Reserve going into Week 11, could be back this season as long as the team is playing meaningful games over the final few weeks.
“All those guys, whether it’s Jimmy, whether it’s Kittle, Ben Garland, I’d probably put just a little bit ahead of them, if I had to say, but all those guys have a chance to come back and help us,” Shanahan told reporters via video conference. “We’ve just got to take care of business here in these next few weeks to give them a reason.”
Kittle went down in Week 7 with a foot fracture and was given an eight-week timeline, although there was some speculation he could be shut down for the year. The latter situation could certainly be the case if the 49ers want to protect their star tight end should they be playing meaningless games in the closing weeks. However, if San Francisco is in the hunt, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see them fit Kittle back into the fold.
Garoppolo’s initial prognosis was four-to-six weeks after he suffered another high ankle sprain in Week 7. Surgery was the only scenario that ruled him out for the year, but it sounds like the club won’t rush him back unless they’re in must-win situations over the final few contests.
Garland is dealing with a calf issue and his return would be significant, especially if center Weston Richburg can’t make it off the Physically Unable to Perform list. The 49ers interior offensive line has struggled, and they’ve played to different centers since Garland went down.
If San Francisco can make a miracle run to the playoffs, they might just be healthy enough to be a factor in the postseason.
Published: 2020-11-18 04:30:59
Tags: #George #Kittle #return #season #49ers #stay #playoff #hunt