As the world slowly begins to return to a sense of normalcy, NFL teams are preparing themselves for the start of the season. Players arrive at organized team workouts looking to get better and prepare for the upcoming season. These players are considered leaders on and off the field. When the team needs a play to be made, these are the players that teammates, coaches, and fans expect to shine big when the lights are shining the brightest. Here we look at the three faces of the 2021 San Francisco 49ers.
2021 San Francisco 49ers: Faces of the Team
Despite missing half the season due to injury, George Kittle is easily the most popular player on the team. He has a case for best tight end in the league when healthy, and is the main focal point of the team’s offense. Even despite the carousel at quarterback, Kittle always puts up big numbers. He also received a contract extension last year in August, so he will be with the 49ers as long as they want him to be.
While the injuries Kittle sustained last season, a broken foot and an MCL sprain, do not seem like much cause for concern, they are something worth keeping an eye on. Prior to last season, Kittle has not suffered any significant injuries in the NFL. Because of this, it will be important to take note of how he bounces back this season. No one doubts his ability or skill, nor is this a prediction of any sort. It is important to point out that injuries have been known to mess with the psyche of athletes in the past. A little food for thought for 49ers fans.
Speaking of significant injuries, we now move on to the next face of the franchise, Nick Bosa. He is coming off an ACL tear he sustained during week two last season. Fortunately, the injury happened early enough in the year that it has allowed Bosa to not rush his rehab. Too often players rush back from injuries, and it can have serious long-term effects on their well-being and physical abilities. No cause for concern here though, as Bosa has had almost a year to recover from his injury by the time the season starts.
With an ACL tear comes a few things to watch out for. Because Bosa is such a young player, it will be interesting to see what impact the large amount of time he missed has on his game. In certain scenarios, players returning from ACL tears have also been known to lose a percentage of their top speed. This is even after a full recovery. Regardless, 49ers fans are as optimistic as ever about Bosa returning and dominating the league once again.
The 49ers shocked everyone by trading three first-round picks for the luxury of picking the third quarterback in the draft. Trey Lance became a face of the franchise the moment the 49ers drafted him. This is true even despite the fact it may take a Jimmy Garoppolo injury for him to see the field this year. The probability that Lance may not get a single start this year is unlikely, but not impossible. It is important to keep in mind that Garoppolo is 36-12 as a starter. This means it is unlikely he will just lose the job due to poor performance. Winning 75% of your starts is no easy feat in this league.
Embed from Getty Images