San Francisco 49ers: 5 biggest injury risks in 2021

Head coach Kyle Shanahan of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Peter Aiken/Getty Images)
Head coach Kyle Shanahan of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Peter Aiken/Getty Images) /
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George Kittle, San Francisco 49ers
George Kittle #85 of the San Francisco 49ers walks off the field with trainer Tim McAdams (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images) /

49ers Injury Risk No. 3: Tight End George Kittle

Fans don’t necessarily associate George Kittle with the injury-prone moniker, but the reality is he’s been dealt some notable injury setbacks over the course of his pro career.

Back in 2018 during the preseason, Kittle suffered a shoulder injury that was thought to be serious but fortunately didn’t cut into his regular-season campaign. But on Oct. 31 in 2019, Kittle suffered both knee and ribs injuries that forced him out of the following two games, leaving No. 2 tight end Ross Dwelley to pick up the slack.

Last year, however, marked the worst in terms of Kittle injuries, where a knee sprain sidelined him for two games early in the season before a broken foot landed him on injured reserve between Weeks 9 through 15.

In total, Kittle saw action in only eight games in 2020.

The hope, of course, is Kittle stays fully healthy this season and will be aided by a healthy crop of additional pass-catchers, thereby taking the pressure off him as a sole receiving target.

That said, Sports Injury Predictor ranks Kittle as the most likely tight end to be injured this season with an 89-percent chance of missing at least two quarters, while the predicted number of games is a notable 3.3.

Hopefully, Kittle bucks this trend.