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Niners TE George Kittle (calf) placed on injured reserve, out at least 3 games

George Kittle's calf injury needs more time to heal, and the 49ers are taking the proper measures to ensure a full recovery.

NFL Network's Tom Pelissero reports the 49ers are placing Kittle on injured reserve, forcing the star tight end to miss at least three games. The 49ers have since confirmed the news.

Pelissero adds that the decision was made for Kittle to go on IR rather than have the injury nag him all season. Kittle was initially ruled as doubtful for this Sunday versus the Arizona Cardinals after not practicing all week.

Although Kittle is expected to miss the three-game minimum while on IR, the soonest he can return is Week 9 with the 49ers scheduled for a bye next week. The modified IR rules indicate a player must miss three games, not three weeks, while on IR. According to Pelissero, the 49ers expect Kittle to be ready for their Week 9 meeting against the Cardinals.

Kittle's absence is an unfortunate one not only for the 2-2 49ers but for rookie quarterback Trey Lance, who will be making his first NFL start in Week 5 against the Cardinals. The 49ers TE has 19 receptions for 227 yards in four games this season, which puts him second in both categories for the team behind wide receiver Deebo Samuel.

Ross Dwelley and Charlie Woerner remain as the 49ers' options at tight end. Tanner Hudson was elevated from the practice squad on Saturday for depth.

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