San Francisco

Niners' Tight Ends are Prospering With Garoppolo at QB

Garrett Celek is getting more chances and taking advantage of his opportunities the past three games

There’s no doubt the 49ers will seek out more talent for the receiving corps in 2018.

Though young players such as Trent Taylor and Marquise Goodwin look as if they’ll play big roles next season now that they’ve built a good chemistry with quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, San Francisco needs to give its QB all the weapons he can use in head coach Kyle Shanahan’s offense.

But it now appears that tight end Garrett Celek also will be a big part of the passing game in the seasons ahead. In just three games with Garoppolo as starter, Celek has seven catches for 160 yards and two touchdowns.

Celek was one of the team’s highest-graded players in the win over the Titans by the analytic website Pro Football Focus. Also graded among the top five was rookie tight end George Kittle, who has eight catches for 82 yards over the past three games with Garoppolo starting. Suddenly, with a new QB, the 49ers' tight ends are turning into a very productive duo.

In the win over the Titans, Celek not only had a 5-yard TD catch, but his 41-yard reception set up a fourth-quarter field goal. Kittle had a 24-yard reception on the 49ers’ final drive to help set up the game-winning field goal by Robbie Gould.

Celek is excited by his most recent production.

“To be utilized in the offense, it makes me feel like I’m finally contributing to the team,” he told Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee. “I’ve been primarily a blocker in the past. So to be able to really affect the game in more than just the run phase, it feels great.”

The 49ers, 4-10, take on the 10-4 Jaguars Sunday at Levi’s Stadium. Kickoff is set for 1:05 p.m.

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