San Francisco fans will have to be a little more patient in the return of Jimmy Garoppolo and George Kittle. John Lynch spoke with ESPN reporter Lisa Salters ahead of the "Monday Night Football" contest against the Buffalo Bills, where the 49ers general manager revealed encouraging news on the duo's potential return to the field.
"We got more positive news today. They both had great workouts this morning," Lynch said on Monday. "That just adds to the great work they've been doing. We're going to be judicious. They're both important players, not only now but to our future, so we're not going to put them out there until they're ready.
"And we're hopeful that at some point towards the end of the year, they can get back out there and compete for us."
San Francisco's quarterback is recovering from a high-ankle sprain suffered in the first half of the 49ers Week 8 matchup against the Seattle Seahawks. The sprain was diagnosed as a new and worse injury than what the quarterback suffered in Week 2 that forced him to miss two games earlier in the year. Garoppolo has appeared in just six games in 2020, while being sidelined to injury in two of those contests.
Kittle has been working his way back from a fracture in his foot suffered in Week 8. The tight end has missed a total of six games this season, including two from earlier in the year when he suffered a knee sprain in the season opener.
Both Garoppolo and Kittle made the trip with the team to Arizona to continue their rehab. Although Lynch was encouraged by the status of their recoveries, head coach Kyle Shanahan is pumping the brakes on overoptimism.
"Those guys are working their tails off right now, but they're still part of the rehab, just trying to get back and be a part of this," Shanahan said. "It's not anytime soon right now."
Heading into the final stretch of the season, San Francisco has four contests remaining on its schedule, beginning with Week 14 against the Washington Football Team. With the 49ers attempting to cling onto any postseason hopes, much of Garoppolo and Kittle's potential return could be weighing on what's left at stake following Sunday's matchup.