Cardinals_49ers_Football_79741

San Francisco 49ers tight end George Kittle looks for running room last Sunday against Arizona Cardinals strong safety Budda Baker. Kittle was injured later in the game on a hit by Baker. Tony Avelar/Associated Press

SANTA CLARA, Calif. — The San Francisco 49ers will be without All-Pro tight end George Kittle on Sunday because of a sprained left knee.

Coach Kyle Shanahan said Friday that Kittle won’t make the trip to face the New York Jets after hurting his knee during a season-opening loss to Arizona.

Kittle played the second half of that game after being hit by Cardinals safety Budda Baker late in the second quarter while trying to catch an errant pass from Jimmy Garoppolo. But he was diagnosed with a sprained knee Monday and didn’t practice all week.

Kittle will join the 49ers next week in West Virginia, where the team will spend the week before concluding an East Coast trip with a game against the Giants on Sept. 27.

“If he’s not going to play, it’s much better for him to leave him here for a couple of days and let him get his rehab and everything,” Shanahan said. “We had to make that decision a little bit earlier today and that’ll help him and benefit him and he’ll meet us in West Virginia. Hopefully these two days of staying here will help him and hopefully he’ll be ready to go next week.”

The Niners (0-1) head into the game against the Jets without two of their most important players. Cornerback Richard Sherman was placed on injured reserve earlier in the week with a strained calf. He will be replaced by Ahkello Witherspoon, who cleared concussion protocol.

Cornerback Jason Verrett will miss his second straight game because of a hamstring injury, and edge rusher Dee Ford is questionable because of neck spasms. The Niners will get rookie receiver Brandon Aiyuk (hamstring) and center Ben Garland (ankle) back after they both missed the season opener.

San Francisco also could have receiver Mohamed Sanu in the lineup. The former Patriots wide receiver officially signed his one-year contract Friday after completing the COVID-19 protocol. Shanahan said Sanu took part in Zoom meetings all week and will play if the team dresses five receivers.

TITANS: Wide receiver A.J. Brown will miss Sunday’s home opener against the Jacksonville Jaguars because of an injured knee.

Coach Mike Vrabel said Friday that rookie running back Darrynton Evans also will miss his second straight game with an injured hamstring.

Brown led all rookies with 1,051 yards receiving in 2019. He played in the Titans’ win in Denver on Monday night, but he was limited in practice Wednesday and did not practice Thursday.

Corey Davis, the Titans’ other starting receiver, practiced fully Friday after being limited Thursday by a hamstring that had him on the injury report last week. Davis played and led the Titans with seven catches for 101 yards.

JETS: Wide receiver Jamison Crowder has been ruled out for New York’s game Sunday against the San Francisco 49ers because of a hamstring injury.

Crowder’s absence is a big blow to Sam Darnold and the offense, which struggled despite the receiver having seven catches for 115 yards and a touchdown in the season-opening loss at Buffalo last Sunday.

“We’ll have to make some adjustments,” Coach Adam Gase said Friday.

Crowder, who led the Jets last season with a career-high 78 catches, was listed on the team’s injury report last week with a hamstring issue but practiced fully and played.

Gase said Crowder was running earlier this week and “kind of pulled up.” He was limited at practice Wednesday, but sat out Thursday and Friday.

BILLS: Buffalo will be without two of its starting linebackers for Sunday’s game against the Miami Dolphins.

Tremaine Edmunds and Matt Milano have been ruled out by Coach Sean McDermott after both were injured in the team’s Week 1 win over the New York Jets.

Edmunds, Buffalo’s Pro Bowl middle linebacker, is out with a right shoulder injury. Milano, a starter on the outside, is out with a hamstring injury. Milano had a leaping interception for Buffalo in the season-opening win over the Jets.

McDermott did not rule out the possibility of one or both players going on injured reserve.

“Too early to tell at this point,” McDermott said.

PACKERS: Kenny Clark won’t be available for Sunday’s game against the Detroit Lions after a groin injury knocked him out of a season-opening victory over the Minnesota Vikings, leaving Green Bay without its best defensive lineman.

Packers Coach Matt LaFleur said Friday that Clark wouldn’t be playing in the team’s home opener.

“I know he’s doing everything in his power to be back as quickly as possible, but he won’t able to play this weekend,” LaFleur said.

LARRY WILSON, a former Cardinals safety and member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, died Thursday evening, according to a news release from the team. He was 82.

Wilson spent more than 43 years in the Cardinals’ organization as a player and an executive. He played 13 seasons, and was an eight-time Pro Bowl selection, making first-team All Pro five times.

Wilson holds franchise records with 52 interceptions and 800 interception return yards. His seven straight games with an interception in 1966 are second-most in NFL history.

STEELERS: Running back James Conner believes he’ll be able to play on his balky left ankle on Sunday when the Steelers host Denver in their home opener.

The Steelers held Conner out of practice on Wednesday, but he was a full participant Thursday and Friday.

RAMS: A person with knowledge of the deal says receiver Robert Woods has agreed to a four-year contract extension worth up to $68 million.

THURSDAY NIGHT’S GAME

BROWNS 35, BENGALS 30: Baker Mayfield threw two touchdown passes, Nick Chubb ran for two scores and 124 yards, and Cleveland gave Coach Kevin Stefanski his first NFL victory by beating Cincinnati on the NFL’s 100th birthday.

Mayfield connected with Odell Beckham Jr. on a 43-yard scoring pass in the first half, and the Browns (1-1) rebounded from an atrocious performance last week in Baltimore, where they were roughed up 38-6 by the Ravens and looked mostly inept in Stefanski’s debut.

Things went much more smoothly against the Bengals (0-2) and No. 1 overall pick Joe Burrow, who threw three TD passes and showed incredible poise in just his second game. Burrow’s third TD pass – a 9-yarder to Tyler Boyd with 43 seconds left – pulled the Bengals within five, but the Browns recovered the ensuing onside kick and ran out the clock.

Mayfield made it a priority to get the ball early to Beckham, who had only three catches for 22 yards in the opener. Beckham finished with four catches for 74 yards. Mayfield completed 16 of 23 passes for 219 yards and one interception. Kareem Hunt had a TD catch, ran for a score and rushed for 86 yards for Cleveland.

Burrow finished 37 of 61 for 316 yards.


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.