San Francisco 49ers tight end George Kittle is dealing with a sprained MCL in his left knee that would sideline most players for a few weeks, but the belief is that he will be ready to return for Week 3 against the New York Giants, a league source told ESPN.
An MRI on Monday revealed the damage to Kittle's MCL, but he was spotted around the Niners' training facility this past week walking without a limp, bolstering the belief -- and hope -- that he will be back for Week 3.
While the 49ers are without Kittle this Sunday, they will rely more on tight ends Jordan Reed and Ross Dwelley. Reed played 10 snaps in San Francisco's season opener against Arizona and could see his playing time doubled Sunday against the New York Jets, and Dwelley had seven catches for 38 yards and two touchdowns in the two games Kittle missed last season.
Beyond their tight ends, the 49ers also will be getting two other reinforcements. Recently signed wide receiver Mohamed Sanu, who played under Niners head coach Kyle Shanahan in Atlanta, is expected to make his San Francisco debut Sunday, according to a source.
The Niners also should get back rookie receiver Brandon Aiyuk, the first-round pick who is expected to make his NFL debut Sunday after missing the opener with a hamstring injury.
Kittle, who was ruled out Friday, will stay in the Bay Area this weekend to rehab then will rejoin the team at The Greenbrier resort in Sulphur Springs, West Virginia, next week to prepare for the Week 3 game against the Giants.