5 players 49ers can’t afford to lose to injury in 2020

Cornerback Richard Sherman #25 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Cornerback Richard Sherman #25 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images) /
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George Kittle, 49ers
George Kittle #85 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images) /

No. 1: 49ers Tight End George Kittle

The 49ers have a number of other options behind the players previously mentioned on this list. But the same can’t exactly be said about the depth behind George Kittle.

Granted, the Niners had to manage two games without Kittle in 2019, and one of those turned into San Francisco’s first regular-season loss. Perhaps that home defeat at the hands of the Seattle Seahawks would have had a different outcome if Kittle was on the field.

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While No. 2 tight end Ross Dwelley provided a handful of key moments in Kittle’s relief, there’s little doubting Pro Football Focus’ top-ranked player from last year carries such a significant role for the offense moving forward.

Not just because of his record-breaking stat line, rather all the things Kittle does on the field: blocking, serving as a field-stretching weapon, a decoy and so much more.

There’s little that needs to be said about Kittle’s value to San Francisco’s offense. Even with some of the reinforcements the 49ers made at wide receiver during the offseason, Kittle remains Kyle Shanahan’s top weapon on offense for all the right reasons.

And that’s reason enough why him suffering a serious injury would be disastrous.

The 49ers got by for two games without Kittle last year. Anything longer would be a major problem, and there aren’t exactly any likable options behind him on the depth chart.

Next. 5 under-radar training camp stories for 49ers in 2020. dark

Or on offense for that matter.