49ers' Kittle reveals he's been playing with torn labrum

Arun Srinivasan
Contributor

San Francisco 49ers tight end George Kittle has established himself as one of the premier players at his position, which is even more remarkable considering he’s done so while playing through injury.

Kittle revealed that he’s suited up with a torn labrum over the past two seasons, where he’s earned Pro Bowl honours.

"So I dislocated my shoulder last year and my labrum is completely torn. So I don't get surgery on it -- [the protective sleeve] basically helps me, so it doesn't hurt all the time,” Kittle said on the Pardon My Take podcast.

Kittle caught 85 passes for 1,053 yards and five touchdowns while emerging as the best run and pass blocking tight end in the NFL, and was named as a first-team All-Pro.

Despite the prevailing injury, Kittle ruled out any plans to undergo surgery in the near future.

“I can't miss those workout days, man.”

Kittle will be a huge component of the 49ers’ game plan in the Super Bowl against the Kansas City Chiefs, where he can stretch the defense with his playmaking ability, or help his team establish the run with his ability to get to the second level on blocks. In any event, the fact that Kittle is doing this while hurt puts his two-season run as arguably the NFL’s best tight end in an even greater light.

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