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49ers Tight End George Kittle Reportedly Missing Practice Again Today

San Francisco 49ers Tight End George Kittle celebrating during a game.

SANTA CLARA, CA - OCTOBER 21: George Kittle #85 of the San Francisco 49ers reacts after a play against the Los Angeles Rams during their NFL game at Levi's Stadium on October 21, 2018 in Santa Clara, California. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

Things aren't looking great for one of the best tight ends in the NFL heading into the first Sunday of the NFL season. 

According to 49ers insider Matt Barrows of The Athletic, Kittle was not present at practice today. He is battling a groin injury and has barely practiced all week.

As of writing, the final injury report has not yet been released. But Barrows says that Kittle is expected to miss Sunday's season opener against the Chicago Bears.

If Kittle misses the game it will be the fourth year in a row that the All-Pro tight end has missed at least one game. He missed three last year and eight the year before.

When healthy, George Kittle ranks among the elite of NFL tight ends. Since 2018 he has averaged 76.4 yards per game while reeling in 292 catches for 3,974 yards and 18 touchdowns.

Kittle is a sure-handed pass catcher who has caught over 77-percent of his targets over the past three years. He's made three Pro Bowls in the last four seasons.

Given that the 49ers have made Trey Lance their starting quarterback after the former No. 3 overall pick barely played last year, the 49ers would undoubtedly prefer to have one of the NFL's best over-the-middle pass catchers on the field with him.

It remains to be seen if or when that will be the case.