4:48 PM ET
SANTA CLARA, Calif. — The San Francisco 49ers have officially been eliminated from postseason contention, but that isn’t going to stop tight end George Kittle from returning for Saturday’s game against the Arizona Cardinals.
The 49ers plan to activate Kittle from injured reserve in the next 24 hours, clearing the path for him to play for the first time since sustaining a fractured cuboid bone in his right foot in a Nov. 1 loss to the Seattle Seahawks.
“He looked great this week,” coach Kyle Shanahan said. “Just talked to him, he said he felt good here after practice so I’m expecting him to go.”
That conversation, apparently, wasn’t a long one, as Kittle made it clear he wanted to return despite the 5-9 Niners having little to play for in the final two weeks.
“He asked me if I wanted to play and I said ‘Hell yes,'” Kittle said. “And he said, ‘Sounds good.’ That was our conversation.”
Kittle missed the past six games because of that foot injury as the Niners fell out of postseason contention, going 1-5 without him. He also missed two games with a knee injury sustained in Week 1.