Tight end George Kittle has been placed on injured reserve, the 49ers announced Saturday.
The move will keep Kittle out for at least three games — at Arizona, at Indianapolis and vs. Chicago — before a potential Week 9 return against the Cardinals. According to multiple reports, the 49ers want to give Kittle time to fully heal from a nagging calf injury.
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Kittle, a two-time Pro Bowler who earned All-Pro honors in 2019, had not missed a game this season. He has caught 19 passes for 227 yards and no touchdowns in 2021.
Last season, Kittle suffered a knee sprain in Week 1 against the Cardinals and missed two games. He later missed six games — seven weeks — after suffering a foot fracture against the Seahawks on Nov. 1. He returned to play the Cardinals on Dec. 26.
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Kittle ranks second on the 49ers in receptions and receiving yards. The only player who ranks ahead of him in those categories is wide receiver Deebo Samuel with 28 catches and 490 yards to go with three touchdowns.
His primary backup, Ross Dwelley, has one reception for 21 yards and a touchdown this year. Charlie Woerner, the third-string tight end, has 32 offensive snaps but has not registered any offensive stats.