NFL

49ers TE George Kittle (knee) not practicing, 'fully expects' to play Week 2

George Kittle won’t practice Wednesday. He might not practice all week. That doesn’t he mean he wont play Sunday.

49ers coach Kyle Shanahan told reporters his All-Pro tight end is currently sidelined with a knee sprain but he “fully expects” to play versus the Jets this weekend.

San Francisco’s top receiver went down in the first half of the team’s Week 1 loss to the Cardinals. He would return but wasn’t targeted once in the second half and finished with just four receptions for 44 yards. Shanahan added that Kittle doesn’t need to practice to be available at New York.

He’s definitely needed by the 49ers. A wave of injuries before the season has severely weakened their inexperienced receiving corps. Help figures to be on the horizon. The question is, how soon?

Shanahan said he’s optimistic rookie wideout Brandon Aiyuk, who missed the opener with a hamstring injury, will make his debut in Week 2. He’ll be a limited participant in Wednesday’s practice. The 49ers on Tuesday signed veteran Mohamed Sanu, who played some of his best ball under Shanahan with the Falcons. Sanu first has to clear COVID-19 testing and won’t be able to practice until Friday at the earliest. His familiarity with the offense makes him a candidate to get on the field right away.

Having any or all of them would be a boon for quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo after he struggled with a shorthanded stack last week.

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