PITTSBURGH — Tight end George Kittle will suit up today and have a shot to do something he’s never done: score a touchdown in a 49ers’ season opener.
Kittle was listed as questionable because of a groin issue, which he aggravated in the preseason finale after it first surfaced a month ago in training camp. A year ago, Kittle missed the 49ers’ first two games because of a groin injury.
Kittle’s availability should be good news from Brock Purdy, who connected with Kittle on seven of his career-high 11 touchdown catches last season. Kittle has at least four catches in each of his previous season openers, including eight receptions (54 yards) in the 2019 opening win at Tampa Bay. Two weeks after that game, Kittle had six catches (57 yards) in the 49ers’ 24-20 win over the Steelers at Levi’s Stadium.
Cornerback Charvarius Ward, the only other player listed as questionable, is active and expected to start.
Inactive are quarterback Brandon Allen (will dress as emergency third QB), guard Nick Zakelj, defensive tackle Kalia Davis, linebackers Dee Winters and Jalen Graham, tight end Brayden Willis and running back Ty Davis-Price.
The Steelers’ inactive are quarterback Mason Rudolph (No. 3 QB), cornerback Desmond King, offensive tackle Dylan Cook, receiver Gunner Olszewski and defensive lineman Armon Watts.
— Cam Inman (@CamInman) September 10, 2023
The first 49ers player on the field before warmups: Rookie kicker Jake Moody. He spent 10 minutes kicking an imaginary football from long distance, retreating as far back as 75 yards. About 90 minutes before kickoff, Moody kicked with a placement tee, and Steelers counterpart Chris Boswell came over to greet him.
Moody did not kick in the 49ers’ preseason finale because of a sore right quadriceps. He responded well enough in the past two weeks that the 49ers released their backup plan, Matthew Wright, from the practice squad Saturday.
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Other rookies making their debuts are wide receiver Ronnie Bell and safety Ji’Ayir Brown.
Defensive end Nick Bosa officially was activated to the 53-man roster Saturday, a day after signing a five-year, $170 million contract extension. … Defensive end Austin Bryant and linebacker Curtis Robinson were activated from the practice squad.