San Francisco 49ers tight end George Kittle plans to be back on the field soon.
Kittle, out since Nov. 1 with a broken foot, has been motivated to beat the team's timeline of eight weeks -- which would allow him to play Week 17 -- as the 49ers re-enter the playoff picture.
"They said eight weeks; I said six," said Kittle, who broke the bone outside the pinkie toe that connects the foot to the ankle. "And I'm excited. These last couple days have definitely progressed forward and made me very optimistic about returning to the field of play. When I first got hurt, my mindset was that I'll be back. And I'm going to continue to keep that mindset because I definitely feel like I'm going to be on the field here sooner than later."
At 5-6, the 49ers are in the thick of the NFC wild-card race and not yet eliminated from winning the division. They're 2-2 against NFC West opponents, but face the new challenge of playing all games away from Santa Clara, Calif., due to COVID-19 restrictions in the county.
The next two games are in Glendale, Ariz., at State Farm Stadium, before a trip to Dallas on Dec. 20 that could be the target for Kittle's comeback game.
Kittle is with the 49ers in Arizona and head coach Kyle Shanahan echoed that the plan from the team perspective would be to have Kittle and quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo on the field this month.
"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."
--Field Level Media