49ers mailbag: Is Jimmy G ready for playoff push? Where’s Kittle?

The 49ers (9-1) head into a critical three-game stretch with fans worried about their offensive potential

SANTA CLARA, CALIFORNIA – NOVEMBER 17: San Francisco 49ers’ Ross Dwelley (82) celebrates after making a touchdown pass versus the Arizona Cardinals in the second quarter of their game at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif., on Sunday, Nov. 17, 2019. (Randy Vazquez / Bay Area News Group)
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SANTA CLARA – What’s in store for the next 49ers vs. Green Bay Packers fall classic? Our Week 12 mailbag, as compiled from input off my Instagram and Twitter feeds:

Kittle! When?? Is the fact that he sat in a box last Sunday rather than standing in civvies on the sideline mean anything? (@Anthony04315169)

Coach Kyle Shanahan said Kittle was assigned luxury-suite detail so he could stay off his injured leg and not stand on the sideline for three-plus hours. Unlike the Seattle game, Kittle came out for pregame stretch before the Cardinals game and looks on the mend. Stay tuned this week for updates.

I think it would take a SWAT team to keep Kittle from missing a second prime-time game at Levi’s Stadium. (@Bass_Sergeant)

No doubt he wants to play. That’s why the medical staff gets paid to act like the mean bouncers at Club 49.

Do you think Garoppolo is ready? (@its_real_kenneth)

For the first playoff drive of his career? He’s sure getting there. The rebuilt knee isn’t hindering him. The touchdown passes and comeback wins are stacking up. The occasional, madcap interception is keeping everyone from overhyping him. Yep, ready.

Tough stretch ahead, for sure. Biggest threat would be the Ravens and containing Lamar? (@thebud_norris)

Hey Bud, let’s closely watch this three-game party: vs. Packers, at Ravens, at Saints. No shortage of fuel to welcome in the Packers on Sunday night and avenge last October’s prime-time loss. The Ravens offense looks ridiculously tough, especially with a 10 a.m. PT kickoff., and with former 49ers OC Greg Roman exploiting Lamar Jackson’s legs/arm like he did Colin Kaepernick’s. If the 49ers fall at the Saints, they could return to the Superdome in the playoffs, which is great for us French Quarter lovers but might, ahem, cut the power to the 49ers’ Super Bowl prospects.

How long should we expect Joe Staley and Dee Ford to be out? (@b_don5)

Staley will miss Sunday’s game and perhaps the next one or two because of surgery on either his right ring finger or pinkie (they were wrapped in a cast Sunday). Ford’s hamstring could require a couple games to recover, though he’s made a habit of playing through pain and not missing a game since 2017.

Will Damontre Moore start after Dee Ford’s injury ? (@OkusiSema)

Ford (hamstring) was only playing 38 percent of the snaps as a pass-rush specialist, so the “starter” title is misleading, and he hasn’t started since Week 2. The 49ers start Arik Armstead and Nick Bosa on the edges with DeForest Buckner inside next to Solomon Thomas or a healthy D.J. Jones. Moore will play as part of a rotation, as he did in Sunday’s debut, after which he looked as grateful for his opportunity as any player I’ve ever seen.

What’s going on with Goodwin……The real reason? (@NINERDUDE2)

Shanahan said before the season he wanted Goodwin in a more specialized, part-time role. That’s even more true with Emmanuel Sanders and Deebo Samuel solidifying themselves as starters. Also, Goodwin doesn’t play special teams, the exception being last Monday’s running start as a punt-coverage gunner. The 49ers aren’t throwing deep, and that is Goodwin’s specialty.

Do you think Richie James will have an increased roll in the next couple games? (@mario3692)

Anyone merits an increased *role after catching their only target and taking it 57 yards to spark a win, especially on a team with a suspect receiving corps that doesn’t have Sanders (ribs) at full strength.

Any special uniform plans for the team? All black? ’94? (@alexander._.exe)

The all-black jerseys are retired, and the 49ers already used their ’94 all-white jerseys, so it’s status red-and-gold quo from here, I believe.

After struggling against mobile QBs 3 weeks straight, could SF actually be looking forward to going against a fairly immobile Rogers? (@samdad2010)

Careful what you wish for this holiday season. Aaron Rodgers proved elusive enough to rally the Packers past the 49ers last October. That only made him 4-4 all-time against The First Team That Passed On Him In The 2005 Draft, including an 0-2 mark in the playoffs.

Aside from Aaron, who is Green Bay’s biggest threat to our defense? (@fonzie.gomez)

Aaron Jones has just a pair of 100-yard rushing games, but he ran for three TDs last game against Carolina, and last month he had 159 receiving yards and two TD catches against Kansas City. That latter effort won Jones the NFC Player of the Week award (over the 49ers’ Tevin Coleman, who had four TDs vs. Carolina). Packers teammates are hyping Jones as a (long shot) MVP candidate.

Any must sees at Levi’s Stadium or must eats? (@_ferrer4_)

I outsourced this question since I only know the press-box commissary. The responses: BNY Melon Club (@thebud_norris), Joe-and-Dwight statues (@jerdog99), Copita tacos and Iguanas (@joshbxsh), Guy Fieri’s Chicken Guy! (@chrisnhernandez), brisket sandwich and crab sandwich (@samy_19) and, my personal favorite, the museum (@misngrumpy).

Can I meet Jimmy G? (@vincentj_lopez)

This is not a dating service. Not yet, anyway.

I’m supposed to take the last flight out of SJ at 9:55 p.m. Will I make it after the game? (@ericsd82)

Here are my keys. Take my car out of the media lot. Just leave it at SJC unattended and make sure to use the Clear or TSA pre-check lines. Godspeed.

 


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