49ers tight end George Kittle found himself banged up in 2020, but there are reasons why he returns to his All-Pro self this upcoming season.
When fully healthy, the 2019 first-team All-Pro still produced at a high level and was almost capable enough of carrying the entire offense on his shoulders. The problem, though, is Kittle wasn’t healthy enough over the course of the season. A broken foot suffered in Week 8 against the Seattle Seahawks ultimately limited him to just eight games played.
As such, the former single-season tight end receiving-yards leader was held to just 634 yards and two touchdowns on 48 receptions.
Those numbers extrapolated over a full 16-game season are still awfully impressive, though, and one can only surmise he would have made yet another Pro Bowl and been in the running for another first-team All-Pro nod had he been able to avoid the injury bug that bit so many of his teammates through an attrition-filled 2020 campaign.
All that said, there are plenty of reasons to be excited about Kittle bouncing back this year.
Perhaps the biggest is Kittle just hit that “magical” age of 27 years old, where most NFL athletes are considered to be in the prime stages of their respective careers. Given his trajectory already, it’s easy to assume Kittle isn’t going to see any dramatic fall in his production for at least the next five years or so, perhaps longer.
On top of that, the context surrounding Kittle is going to be vastly better than what he had to play through in 2020.
So let’s take a look at why Kittle gets back into his All-Pro form this upcoming season.