NFC Notes: 49ers, Cardinals, Rams


49ers HC Kyle Shanahan said they have not had any consideration over limiting TE George Kittle‘s workload and that the tight end is committed to playing through injuries. 

“I haven’t heard of people managing a tight end, especially one like Kittle,” Shanahan said, via Eric Branch of the San Francisco Chronicle. “Tight ends go. They play every play, usually. Lots of them, you have different personnel groupings, but most tight ends (play) over 80% of the game. But Kittle is always going to play through (injuries) and go out there when he isn’t at 100%. And when he’s not at 100%, that’s when you’ve definitely got to do that. But I’ve never done that with a tight end before though.”

As for the 49ers starting the season with four tight ends on the roster, GM John Lynch explained that they had a goal to “take some off” of Kittle’s workload. 

“A stated goal of ours this year was to have some people around (Kittle) such that we could take some off him,” Lynch said. “George is a great player. And you can run into, ‘Let’s have him out there every single play of the season.’”

Shanahan admits that there is some concern over Kittle’s body suffering attrition due to his aggressive playing style. 

“You have to be concerned with that, but Kittle does take care of himself,” Shanahan said. “I think he got off to a rough start this year and tried to play through some stuff and it’s been lingering. Hopefully, this break helped him and, hopefully, we’ll have some better luck.”

  • 49ers’ DT Javon Kinlaw had a season-ending ACL reconstruction last week, which was performed by Dr. Neal ElAttrache. (Cam Inman)


Cardinals HC Kliff Kingsbury defended WR A.J. Green‘s understanding of their offense following Week 8’s Thursday Night loss to the Packers. 

“He’s a pro. And, like I said, that’s a miscommunication. It had nothing to do with a fault of somebody. It’s one guy thought it was one thing, the other guy thought it was something else. And so he understands what he’s meant to this offense so far, and how much better we’ve been with him. And I expect him to continue to just play at a high level,” said Kingsbury, via Howard Balzer. 

Kingsbury reiterated that a “signal was misinterpreted” on the final play call to Green in Week 8

“Yeah. I mean, nobody understands what went on, except the people that were there and part of it. And it was one of those deals (where) we’re a signal-based offense and a signal was misinterpreted, and that happens, but it wasn’t like he did anything malicious or screwed anything up. It’s just unfortunate it happened at that time,” said Kingsbury. 

Cardinals QB Kyler Murray called the moment a “learning experience” and is confident they will correct the mistake. 

“Between us, yeah, we’ve talked about it. I mean it is what it is; it’s over. I think we just both have to be better in that situation. It’s a learning experience. Obviously, both of us were frustrated in that moment. I know he felt really bad. Obviously, I felt bad. Because we all lost. That was the end and the goal is to win and we didn’t, so that’s why we all felt the way we did,” said Murray. 


Rams QB Matthew Stafford was disappointed that recently released veteran WR DeSean Jackson was unable to work in their offense. 

“It’s disappointing that it didn’t work out. I’ve got a ton of respect for DeSean and how talented he is as a player. I reached out to him afterwards and just said, ‘Man, it was fun playing with one of the all-time great deep threats.’ Being able to connect with him on a long one against Tampa was cool,” Stafford said, via RamsWire. “It didn’t work out for whatever reason and I just know that I trust our front office and our coaching staff to put us in the best position to try to succeed. That’s what they’re always trying to do is figure out what’s best for this team. And that’s what they felt was best and we move on. We go from there. We’ve got a great group of guys. I’m ready to play and excited about what’s coming next.”

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