clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

49ers George Kittle on Jimmy Garoppolo: ‘He’s our best leader’

San Francisco’s tight end weighed in on the QB situation and said he’s comfortable with all of the Niners’ options.

Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images

The San Francisco 49ers’ quarterback situation is uncertain, leading to the Week 5 matchup against the Miami Dolphins. Starter Jimmy Garoppolo is nursing a high ankle sprain that caused him to miss the last two games. Nick Mullens played well in place of Jimmy G against the New York Giants, but performer horribly in the Week 4 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles.

Niners head coach Kyle Shanahan yanked Mullens after a pick-six against the Eagles and went with C.J. Beathard the rest of the way. Beathard went 14-of-19 for 138 yards during his brief appearance, and if Garoppolo isn’t able to play against Miami, he could get his first start since Week 8 of the 2018 season.

Tight end George Kittle joined KNBR’s Murph and Mac Show and was asked about the absence of Garoppolo.

“I know it’s tough for him. Our lockers are right across from each other, so we get to chat every single day,” Kittle said. “I know all he wants to do is be out there and throwing that football and leading this team.

“I will say, the one thing that I’ve missed about Jimmy is I think he’s our best leader. He’s got the best voice on this team. Everybody looks to him when he speaks.”

The quarterback and tight end are very close, as evidenced by their constant barbs on social media. Kittle knows how much Garoppolo misses being on the field with his teammates.

“I know he’s eager to be back out there, and as a team, we’re looking forward to having him back too,” Kittle said. “I hope it’s this week. If it’s not, we’ve got guys capable of handling it. I know he’s eager to be back out there, though.”

Garoppolo injured his ankle in the first half of the Week 2 win over the New York Jets. Although he has his detractors, we saw just how much the Niners miss him during the Eagles’ loss.

“It’s incredible how he can motivate a team and also light a fire under your ass,” Kittle said. “He gets that done, and he’s really good at it, and it’s natural for him. Everybody on this team respects it.

“Yes, we miss his gunslinging ability, but he’s an incredible leader too, and in my opinion, one of our most important leaders. When we get him back, that will definitely be a huge boost for us.”

Kittle was sensational in his return to the field after missing back-to-back games in New York. He caught 15 passes for 183 yards and a touchdown against Philadelphia. Kittle has played 16 games with either Mullens or Beathard at quarterback and is confident in any of the three options the 49ers have available.

“All three quarterbacks throw me the ball, so I’m comfortable with whoever Coach Shanahan puts out there,” Kittle said.

Hopefully, Jimmy G is ready to go. The matchup against the Dolphins will allow him to shake off some of the rust before San Francisco enters the toughest portion of its schedule. We should know the chances of him playing on Sunday later today when Shanahan speaks to the media after practice.

If Garoppolo can’t go, who should the 49ers start out of Mullens and Beathard?