Kittle not expected to play in 49ers' opener vs. Bears


After missing practice this week, All-Pro tight end George Kittle isn't expected to play in the 49ers' 2022 NFL season opener against the Chicago Bears on Sunday at Soldier Field, NBC Sports Bay Area's Matt Maiocco reported Saturday night.

Kittle is dealing with a groin injury and was listed as questionable on the 49ers' final injury report Friday.

Kittle's absence will be a big blow to Trey Lance, who is beginning his first season as the 49ers' starting quarterback. Not only is Kittle an elite pass catcher, but he is incredibly valuable as a blocker in the run game.

The 49ers hope Kittle can practice next week in preparation for their Sept. 18 home opener against the Seattle Seahawks.

With Kittle out, the 49ers will rely on backup tight ends Charlie Woerner, Ross Dwelley and Tyler Kroft to pick up the slack and help Lance. But none of those three possess the skillset Kittle brings to the table.

The Kittle-less 49ers will kick off the 2022 season at 10 a.m. PT in Chicago. Coverage begins at 9 a.m. PT with "49ers Pregame Live" on NBC Sports Bay Area and continues immediately after the final whistle with "49ers Postgame Live."

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