Two of San Francisco's most important players are facing significant periods of time away from the field.
Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo is expected to miss an extended period of time due to a high-ankle injury he suffered in Sunday's loss to Seattle, NFL Network's Mike Garafolo reported. Garoppolo left the game in the second half because of the injury, which is the second ankle issue he's suffered this season.
Garoppolo is seeking multiple opinions on his ankle injury but is likely facing at least a month on the sideline, Garafolo added.
Garoppolo isn't alone, either. Tight end George Kittle will miss extended time as well with a small fracture in his foot, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported. The fracture was revealed while Kittle was undergoing further testing following his second-half exit from Sunday's game. It's unclear whether he'll be able to return this season, per Rapoport.
Kittle missed two games with a knee injury suffered in San Francisco's Week 1 loss to Arizona, returned in Week 4 and has again been a key part of the 49ers' offense. Backup tight end Ross Dwelley caught a touchdown pass following Kittle's exit, but his absence will be just as significant as Garoppolo's, if not more.
The one-two punch of difficult news will leave the 49ers in the hands of backup Nick Mullens, who completed 18 of 25 passes for 238 yards and two touchdowns in relief duty versus the Seahawks. Time will tell whether he'll be a viable option at the position in an incredibly unfortunate campaign for the defending NFC champs.
San Francisco hosts the Green Bay Packers on Thursday Night Football in Week 9.