The San Francisco 49ers suffered two huge injuries during Sunday's 37-27 loss to the Seattle Seahawks.
Star tight end George Kittle broke a bone in his foot and will be out for eight weeks, while starting quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo suffered a high ankle sprain that will sideline him for at least six weeks.
The San Francisco 49ers currently sit at 4-4 in a very competitive NFC West. Garoppolo, if he comes back on time, would be returning for the game against the Dallas Cowboys. George Kittle would return against the Seattle Seahawks in the 49ers' last game of the season.
How should the San Francisco 49ers handle the injuries?
Both Garoppolo and Kittle are young and have bright futures for the San Francisco 49ers. This is why it is important for the San Francisco 49ers to play this right. The two young stars are going to want to get back on the field as soon as possible, but the 49ers need to wait and see how the season plays out.
If the 49ers were smart, they would shut both Jimmy Garoppolo and George Kittle down for the rest of the season.
The NFC is very competitive this year and the future is more important than the present. Both injuries have the potential to impact the rest of their careers.
A high ankle sprain is a nagging injury that can reoccur with the slightest movement. By sitting Jimmy Garoppolo for the rest of the season it gives him enough time to make sure that the ankle is fully recovered. It would only take the slightest pass rush and any quick movement to reaggravate the ankle sprain.
George Kittle is suffering from an injury that has placed many athletes on the shelf for a long period of time. A broken foot can linger for a extended period of time. Sitting Kittle for the rest of the season would make the most sense for the 49ers.
How do the San Francisco 49ers replace Garoppolo and Kittle?
The best thing for the 49ers to do is to ride the season out with backup quarterback Nick Mullens. He played well in replacing Garoppolo on Sunday against the Seahawks. Mullens threw for 238 yards and two touchdowns with just one interception.
The San Francisco 49ers will turn to backup tight end Ross Dwelley who has hauled in six catches for 70 yards and one touchdown this season. This is a huge drop-off in production for the 49ers at the tight end position. The San Francisco 49ers do not need to go out and trade for anyone to improve their offense, they just need to get healthy and start over next season.
How sitting George Kittle and Jimmy Garoppolo for the rest of the season could benefit the 49ers
If the San Francisco 49ers sit both George Kittle and Jimmy Garoppolo it could benefit them in two major ways. One way it could benefit the 49ers is by protecting the future of their offense. The second way is that the 49ers could get a higher draft pick to add more talent to their team.
The San Francisco 49ers are already banged up all over their offense and defense, so the absence of Kittle and Garoppolo will hurt but it won't determine their season.
This is why it is important for them to plan for next year and beyond when they decide on how to handle these injuries. We could potentially see a report in the next week or so stating that both Garoppolo and Kittle will miss the remainder of the season.