The biggest surprise of the weekend was the news of George Kittle being placed on Injured Reserve in advance of the 49ers Week 5 matchup against the Arizona Cardinals. Kittle had been playing through a calf injury he suffered in the season opener. The 49ers were holding out hope that the tight end would see improvements throughout the week, despite being sidelined in all three of the week's practices. There's no word on the extent of his injury, however, San Francisco ultimately decided to temporarily shut Kittle down. The earliest window for the tight end to return from IR would be Week 9 when the 49ers host the Cardinals.
Despite losing the All-Pro tight end, the 49ers will see the return of several reinforcements, including running back Elijah Mitchell, who missed the last two weeks while dealing with a shoulder injury. Mitchell and Trey Sermon are likely to lead San Francisco's backfield who could have a favorable matchup against an Arizona defense who is averaging more than 135 yards to running backs, the 26th-worst mark in the league.
Additionally, Josh Norman will make his return to the 49ers defensive backfield. Norman has been dealing with a lung contusion after taking a helmet to the chest in the 49ers Week 3 matchup against the Green Bay Packers. Since, the veteran corner has passed all protocols and will be tested against Arizona's third-ranked passing offense.
The biggest headline of all for San Francisco is Trey Lance making the first start of his young NFL career. Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo spent the week attempting to work his way back from a calf injury suffered in the first drive of San Francisco's Week 4 loss against the Seattle Seahawks and was officially ruled OUT on Friday.
Lance took over the second half of Week 4 with Garoppolo sidelined and managed a commendable outing despite a modified and unanticipated game plan.
In his limited action, Lance has appeared in three games and has completed 52.6 percent of his passes for 162 yards and three touchdowns for a passer rating of 121.1 and has added 44 yards on the ground on 11 attempts and his own rushing score.
This time around, Lance received a full week of starting reps and a game plan that will be catered to his skill set against the Cardinals.
Here's a full look at who's out in the Week 5 divisional showdown: