No. 6: 49ers Tight End George Kittle
Like Fred Warner, George Kittle has gotten off to a bit of a sluggish start this season, partially because of many of the Niners’ offense’s own inconsistencies and also possibly due to a nagging calf injury that’s hindered the 2019 first-team All-Pro for the past two-plus weeks.
It’s also fair to place some blame both on Kyle Shanahan and quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, too, for not making Kittle a bigger part of the game plan.
Kittle’s stats through four weeks have been relatively pedestrian, especially for someone of his prowess: 19 catches for 227 yards and zero touchdowns. He has been targeted 29 times, though, which helps highlight some of the accuracy concerns Garoppolo has.
Despite all this, Kittle’s on-field presence is still highly valuable.
Even if he’s not getting the reception numbers he should command, Kittle’s service as an elite-level blocker for his position and as a decoy have both allowed San Francisco to stay competitive in all four games despite the 2-2 record. And Kittle still remains a lethal threat who can easily have a 100-yard game at a moment’s notice.
Expect those kinds of performances in the very near future. It’s only a matter of time.