49ers‘ Kittle doubtful for Seahawks clash on MNF

SANTA CLARA, Calif. — While the could welcome back three key offensive starters Monday night against the , they could also be missing perhaps their most indispensable player.

On Saturday, the 49ers officially labeled tight end as doubtful for Monday‘s game after he suffered knee and ankle injuries in last week‘s win over the .

Kittle did not participate in practice all week after an MRI revealed what coach Kyle Shanahan called “two things in both areas,” referring to Kittle‘s knee and ankle.

Despite those issues, the 49ers are holding out hope that Kittle, who has a reputation for playing through pain, will find a way to be available for the NFC West showdown.

“Just because it‘s George,” Shanahan said. “If it was any other player, I‘d probably say, ‘He‘s out and if it goes like this he will be out.‘ But George isn‘t a guy who needs to be out at practice. He‘s doing everything he can, and we‘ll see how he feels on Monday but things would have to change.”

A core offensive force in the 49ers‘ 8-0 start, tight end George Kittle is considered doubtful to play Monday against the Seahawks. Christian Petersen/Getty Images

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The do-everything Kittle has emerged as perhaps the Niners‘ most important player. He leads the team in receptions (46), targets (57), receiving yards (541) and receiving touchdowns (two) while also serving as an integral blocker in the run game.

If Kittle is unable to play, the Niners will look to backups , who caught the game-sealing first down in Kittle‘s place against Arizona, and to fill the void. Fullback , who is set to return from an MCL injury and is not listed on Saturday‘s injury report, will also be asked to help.

Shanahan acknowledged that more roster moves could come on Monday, but those decisions will be made based on who can play while also factoring in special teams.

In addition to Kittle, kicker is listed as doubtful after suffering a right quadriceps injury Tuesday. The Niners signed kicker to handle kicking duties should Gould be unable to play.

The injury news wasn‘t all bad this week for San Francisco, which could welcome back starting offensive tackles (broken fibula) and (knee), who have missed six and four games, respectively. Staley and McGlinchey were listed as questionable on Saturday‘s injury report.

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