49ers depth chart: What happens if George Kittle gets hurt?
By Peter Panacy
49ers Depth TE No. 1: Ross Dwelley
Maybe the Niners had no interest in re-signing Jordan Reed this offseason because they already had a decent No. 2 option on the depth chart.
Whether or not backup tight end Ross Dwelley‘s presence and projected role prompted Reed’s retirement is anyone’s guess, but some could argue Dwelley should have stayed the primary backup to George Kittle anyway last year.
When Kittle missed two games in the middle of 2019, it was Dwelley who assumed the larger role. And while no one would jump up and down for Dwelley’s 15 catches for 91 yards and two touchdowns, it seemed as if almost every one of those receptions came in huge moments.
Particularly a game-sealing third-down grab against the Arizona Cardinals on Halloween that year.
In the wake of both Reed and Kittle missing substantial time in 2020, Dwelley set a career-best for himself with 19 receptions for 245 yards and a touchdown. Sure, he’s not the yards-after-the-catch monster Kittle is, but Dwelley has proven to be a reliable depth piece and someone who has shown the ability to fill a void if need be.
That’ll likely be his primary role again in 2021.