The Chicago Bears are seven-point underdogs against the San Francisco 49ers in their 2022 season opener on Sunday. In other words, they may need all the help they can get to pull off an upset. And while no one wants to see star players get injured, the fact that 49ers tight end George Kittle is dealing with a groin injury isn’t the worst news for Bears defenders.
Kittle was held out of practice Wednesday and is listed as day-to-day, which suggests there’s a good chance he’ll at least try to play Sunday. But for a guy who runs with as much explosion and power as Kittle, any lower-body injury is somewhat worrisome.
49ers coach Kyle Shanahan sounded at least a little concerned about Kittle’s Week 1 status.
“Not sure,” Shanahan said of Kittle’s Week 1 availability. “I was hoping he’d be good today. He did it a little on Monday and not feeling good today. We’ll have to see day-by-day.”
Injuries are nothing new for Kittle, who hasn’t played a full 16 (or 17) game schedule since 2018. He’s missed 13 games over the last three seasons, including three in 2021. Kittle still managed to set a career-high with six touchdown catches in reduced action last year.
If Kittle is held out of practice again on Thursday, the odds he’ll suit up against the Bears go way down. At least, the odds he’ll play a full set of starter’s reps will become less likely.
The Chicago Bears are scheduled to kick off their game against the San Francisco 49ers at 1 p.m. EST (12 p.m. CST) from Soldier Field on Sunday, Sept. 11. The game will be televised on FOX. Click here for all the ways to watch, listen to, and stream the Bears’ opener.