George Kittle listed with ankle injury on 49ers participation report

SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- San Francisco 49ers tight end George Kittle was a surprise addition to the team's participation report after he did not practice Wednesday afternoon.

According to the league's mandatory participation report, Kittle is listed with an ankle injury. The 49ers said Kittle is dealing with some ankle soreness left over from their 27-10 win against the Minnesota Vikings in the NFC divisional round.

That would indicate the Niners aren't overly concerned about Kittle's ankle and are playing it safe with him as they prepare for Sunday's NFC Championship Game against the Green Bay Packers. They're scheduled to practice again Thursday with coach Kyle Shanahan likely to an offer an update before that session.

For what it's worth, Kittle was seen in the Niners locker room during media availability Wednesday and did not appear to have a limp or any obvious issues moving around. Shanahan did not mention Kittle when he listed the team's anticipated participation report before Wednesday's practice.

Kittle led the Niners with 85 catches and 1,053 receiving yards this season, to go with five touchdowns, and is a key cog in the running game as a blocker. He missed two games after suffering knee and ankle injuries in an Oct. 31 win against the Arizona Cardinals.

Shanahan later compared Kittle's ankle injury to a piece of bark coming off a tree, noting that a piece of bark coming off the tree does not impact the stability of the tree, so Kittle was not in danger of that issue causing further damage by playing.

Coincidentally, Kittle returned to the lineup on Nov. 24 against Green Bay. He had six catches for 129 yards and a touchdown in that matchup.

Defensive end Dee Ford (quadriceps/hamstring) also did not participate but that was not a sign of a setback and Ford will follow a similar plan to what he has done most of the season in resting during the week, according to Shanahan.

"No, same situation as last week," Shanahan said.