San Francisco 49ers tight end George Kittel is suspected to play in Sunday’s regular season opener against the Chicago Bears. He is suffering from a groin strain and is hopeful that he can take the field with his teammates. However, Kittel understands the situation. It’s the first week, and if he can make sure to miss a game and play the rest of the season, so be it.

“If I can make it worse, I don’t think they’ll let me play,” Kittel said on Friday. “So we’re on the same page as a team. We’re doing everything we can [to make sure] I will be safe there. If we can do whatever I can to make it as stable and safe as possible.”

If you’re worried about the guilt of the 49ers missing Kittel at Soldier Field, NFL analyst Brian Baldinger thinks you should calm down. That’s not to say Kittle isn’t impressive.

“There are only two or three tight ends in the league that can block like him,” Baldinger told Damon Bruce and Ray Ratto of 95.7 The Game on Friday. “But more than that, it’s just how he and Kyle Juszkic, how they work together. They’re excellent together at blocking out edges. So Charlie Worner, [whoever you put] There, Ross Dweley, he’s not George. It could make a difference.”

The 49ers are bursting with talent though. On paper, it’s a lot more genius than Bear. That should minimize the potential damage to the kit, assuming that’s exactly what’s going on. If this happens, try not to sleep too much on it.

“But to be honest with you, if you think losing George Kittel brings this game closer, you’re not where you should be,” Baldinger continued confidently. “He should be able to recover from George Kittel’s loss in this game. I’d be surprised if he plays. You can’t do anything in the second week.

“He’s going to be depressed. I’m sure he wants to play. I’m sure he’s getting acupuncture right now, and who knows what else? He’s lying in salty water somewhere, trying to take some swelling out.” Trying. But you’ll just have to get him ready for the season. He makes such a difference.

“You really, honestly, have to go up to the next guy in every single spot right now. And you just have to train them all and get them all ready to play, understanding that there’s a drop-off . The others behind him may not block as well as he can, but you just have to go with the next guy.”

You can listen to the full conversation with Baldinger below.