Kyle Shanahan Hopeful Jimmy Garoppolo, George Kittle Return This Year

Shanahan hopeful Jimmy G, Kittle can return this season originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea

The 49ers' 5-6 record could be considered nothing short of a miracle.  

Coach Kyle Shanahan gave an updated injury report on Tuesday, and there was more bad news. Cornerback Jamar Taylor suffered an ACL injury in the 49ers' win over the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday and will miss the remainder of the season. 

Defensive back Ken Webster severely strained his hamstring in the win and will go on injured reserve as well. 

Shanahan shared he still has some hope that quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo and All-Pro tight end George Kittle could make their return in the final few games of the season, but neither player will have their practice window open in the next week. 

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Due to a rise in COVID-19 cases and ensuing restrictions in Santa Clara County, all rehabbing players will relocate to Arizona while team’s facility at Levi’s Stadium essentially will be shuttered. 

Kittle and Garoppolo will start doing some individual work on the field a part of their rehabilitation process, which is a positive sign to Shanahan. 

“I’m holding out for Jimmy for the last couple weeks,” Shanahan said. “Same with Kittle. I think they are both in a similar boat. That’s not guaranteed, it’s how they react here over the next couple of weeks, but they are just starting to get into it. 

“That’s hopefully going to be the last couple weeks, whether it’s two games or one game or none.”  

The 49ers should get all remaining players activated off the reserve/COVID-19 list this week in time to practice and prepare for their Monday night matchup with the Buffalo Bills. Shanahan expects Brandon Aiyuk, D.J. Jones and Jordan Willis to all practice on Thursday. 

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Shanahan has less hope for a return of center Weston Richburg, and defensive linemen Ronald Blair and Dee Ford this season. Shanahan shared that both Richburg and Blair have been at the facility every day working hard to rehab after they suffered setbacks from their surgeries. 

Offensive lineman Ben Garland, and defensive back K’Waun Williams also will remain out of practice as the 49ers prepare for the Bills. Shanahan did share that the one player who could make his return from injury is Mark Nzeocha. The linebacker’s return is not 100 percent, but his practice window could open once the 49er set up shop in Arizona.

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