The physical and mental toll an NFL season takes on players is hard to put into words, but 49ers tight end George Kittle did his best to summarize the turnaround each week from Sunday to Sunday.
“It’s like I'm in a car accident every Sunday, like multiple car accidents every Sunday,” Kittle told comedian Theo Von on his podcast "This Past Weekend”, which was released on Tuesday.
Kittle’s descriptive analogy was clear, but he went on to further explain what players like himself go through for 17-plus weeks.
“Monday, I have to do a big lower body lift and I have to move, otherwise you get more stiff and more sore,” Kittle explained. “So you do a big lift and try to stay a little bit mobile, but Mondays I usually feel OK. Tuesdays are really, really hard days, it’s the second day afterward and you kind of feel everything.
“Some Tuesdays are better than others. Like if we play on the East Coast, we have a five-hour flight back and then I get home at 4 a.m., those are tough.”
Depending on the position, players endure a different type of pain week in and week out. Kittle, who spends a lot of his time on the field blocking for many of San Francisco’s other offensive weapons, takes as many bone-jarring hits as any NFL player.
San Francisco 49ers
And when he’s not stiff-arming linebackers or blocking for Christian McCaffrey, he’s taking care of his body to do it all over again the following week.
“You get in these car accidents and on Thursday to Friday is when I start to feel like myself again,” Kittle said. “And then the more end of the season you get, the more your body is facing the wear and tear. So really now how I see it is if I'm not doing football, I’m doing recovery.
“Whether it’s tubs, whether it’s [Blood Flow Restriction] workouts, whether it’s just movement, yoga, redlight therapy, saunas -- whatever’s available, that’s all I do. I get home from practice and my next two and a half hours are rehab.”
Car accident. Rehab. Repeat. Got it, Kittle.