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Shanahan, Lynch, comment on when Garoppolo and Kittle would return

Lynch is hopeful that it’s sooner than later, while Shanahan said he’s not expecting the two to be back anytime soon

San Francisco 49ers v Seattle Seahawks Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images

49ers general manager John Lynch told ESPN that the team received good news on Monday about Jimmy Garoppolo and George Kittle. Here’s what Lynch told ESPN’s, Lisa Salters:

We got more positive news today. They (Jimmy Garoppolo and George Kittle) both had great workouts this morning. That just adds to the great work they’ve been doing. We’re going to be judicious. They’re both important players, not only now but to our future, so we’re not going to put them out there until they’re ready… and we’re hopeful that at some point towards the end of the year, they can get back out there and compete for us.

With little to no room margin of error for the 49ers’ playoff hopes, I wonder if we see Garoppolo or Kittle practice this week or next. The clearest path to the playoffs is San Francisco winning out, the Vikings losing to the Saints in Week 16, and a Lions loss at any point for the remainder of the year.

Does Kittle try and push his injury? Kittle felt like it would be six weeks for him to return as of November 1, and we’re about a week away from that timeline. In an ideal world, both he and Jimmy wouldn’t have to return until Week 16 against Arizona, but that also means two more games of Nick Mullens under center. Mullens is a good backup quarterback. He’s also a bad starting quarterback. Kyle Shanahan’s history with Washington’s football franchise is well-documented, and I can’t imagine the 49ers losing to them, though their pass rush will give the Niners fits.

Speaking of Shanahan, he was asked after Monday night’s game about Lynch’s comments and whether his two starters timeline improved:

“No, that’s just him answering a question, probably. I mean, those guys are working their tails off right now, but they’re still part of the rehab, just trying to get back and be a part of this, but it’s not anytime soon right now.”

If I know Shanahan, that’s code for Kittle and Garoppolo would play sooner than later. If the 49ers have any hopes of making the playoffs, they’ll have to get past a competitive Washington team. If that doesn’t happen, I doubt there would be any reason for Jimmy G and Kittle to comeback.