Wide receiver Marquise Goodwin had his best season in 2017 with the 49ers, even if it did end a bit earlier than expected.
In the season finale against the Rams in Los Angeles Sunday, Goodwin went down on a helmet-to-helmet hit by safety Blake Countess, who was penalized for it, in the second quarter and didn’t return. He was taken to an area hospital and determined to have a concussion.
Niners offensive tackle Joe Staley said the hit was “scary.”
“I heard the hit initially and I ran over there,” Staley told reporters. “I saw his arms kind of seizing up and his eyes were closed.”
It was the end to a memorable season for Goodwin, who promises to be a big part of the 49ers offense in 2018.
Goodwin, who came to San Francisco this past offseason after four seasons in Buffalo, posted career highs in targets (105), catches (56), yards (962) and average yards per catch (17.2) in 2017. In Buffalo in 2016 he had set career marks with 29 receptions for 431 yards.
Goodwin meshed with new quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, and his Olympic-caliber speed made him a big-play threat even on short patterns.
In November, Goodwin scored his first touchdown of the season in a game against the Giants, then let the media know he and his wife had lost their infant son due to health complications during a premature delivery hours before the game.
For his contributions this season, his dedication and courage, the 49ers voted Goodwin the annual Len Eshmont Award, which was announced after Sunday’s season finale.
The award, voted on by Goodwin’s teammates, is given to the player who best exemplifies the inspirational and courageous play of Eshmont, an original member of the 1946 original 49ers team, noted David Fucillo of SB Nation.
Niners head coach Kyle Shanahan told Eric Branch of the San Francisco Chronicle that the hit on Goodwin “wasn’t as scary as it seemed,” and that Goodwin will be fine. He flew home with the team.
With a full offseason to work with Shanahan and Garoppolo, Goodwin could be even more productive in 2018.