SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- 49ers tight end George Kittle wasn't on the practice field Wednesday due to an ankle injury, the team announced.
According to a team spokesman, Kittle is dealing with ankle soreness following Saturday's divisional-round victory over the Minnesota Vikings.
Kittle's absence was surprising given he wasn't listed by coach Kyle Shanahan during his regular injury update to open his Wednesday news conference.
Kittle appeared to be in good spirits in the locker room before practice, though it's unclear how the injury will impact his status ahead of the NFC Championship Game against the Packers on Sunday.
The All-Pro tight end played 68 of the 71 snaps against Minnesota. He recorded just three catches for 16 yards but was a crucial blocker in the running game. The 49ers ran the ball 47 times and had a 38:27 to 21:33 advantage in time of possession.
Kittle said he entered the playoffs feeling better than he had in weeks following the first-round bye. He sustained a bone chip in his left ankle and knee injury to his same left leg during the 49ers' first possession against the Arizona Cardinals Oct. 31. He stayed in the game and made six catches for 79 yards and a touchdown before taking himself out in the fourth quarter.
Kittle missed the following two games against the Seahawks and Cardinals before returning to the lineup Nov. 24 against the Packers. Kittle caught passes on all six of his targets for 129 yards, including a 61-yard touchdown and played in the final five regular season games without being listed on the injury report.
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