Groin injury could sideline George Kittle vs. the Steelers in Week 1
The Pittsburgh Steelers are preparing for the San Francisco 49ers in Week 1 of the 2023 regular season, but there are a lot of storylines which could alter the outcome of the game based on how they play themselves out.
For the 49ers, there is no shortage of drama. Whether you’re talking about the injured elbow to Brock Purdy, Kyle Shanahan’s questionable decisions, or disgruntled players, there is not shortage of news coming out of the bay area.
While everyone has been following the Nick Bosa hold out, a new story is emerging with a player who still has the ability to be a difference maker for the 49ers offense. That player would be tight end George Kittle.
Kittle has reportedly been nursing a groin injury, and could miss the Week 1 game, this according to the San Francisco Chronicle:
49ers star George Kittle could miss the regular-season opener with a groin injury for the second straight year. Kittle has participated in just two practices in more than three weeks, none since he played 12 snaps in the preseason finale Aug. 25.https://t.co/GqaMVUCbEC
— San Francisco Chronicle (@sfchronicle) September 4, 2023
Kittle, while often injured, can still be a difference maker. Throw in the fact the Steelers have historically struggled against defending tight ends, and the potential of not having Kittle at Purdy’s disposal is notable. What shouldn’t be underscored is how Kittle isn’t just a viable option in the passing attack, but also in the running game as a blocker.
While Kittle has plenty of time to return to practice and prove these reports wrong, the thought of the 49ers being without Kittle and/or Bosa makes this contest more manageable for the Steelers in every way possible.
Some might suggest they want the Steelers’ opponents to be at full strength, which is fair, but at the same time these are players who can be difference makers in the Steelers starting 1-0, or 0-1 after the Week 1 game Sunday at 1pm EST.
Be sure to stay tuned to SCN for the latest news and notes surrounding the Steelers as they prepare for the start of the regular season in Week 1.