49ers Player No. 4: Tight End Ross Dwelley
It’s unfortunately become something of a yearly occurrence when All-Pro tight end George Kittle is forced to miss a period of time with an injury, and that’s been the case again in 2021 with him going on injured reserve with a calf injury, ultimately being sidelined three games.
In years prior, No. 2 tight end Ross Dwelley has been the primary beneficiary, filling in adequately enough in 2019 with some clutch catches in Kittle’s stead, then recording a career-best 245 receiving yards when Kittle missed half of 2020.
Entering a contract year in 2021, one would have figured Kittle’s three-game absence would have opened up the door for Dwelley to resume his role as San Francisco’s emergency go-to guy, but that hasn’t been the case. Instead, the 49ers have turned more to second-year pro Charlie Woerner, who isn’t anything as close as a receiving threat but does have the blocking prowess Dwelley largely lacks.
And while Dwelley does have one touchdown over Woerner’s zero this season, both have only four receptions on five targets, yet Woerner is only marginally behind Dwelley in the offensive-snap department, 139 to 163 (27.4 percent to 32.2 percent).
Dwelley has largely been a non-factor this season, and it appears as if the Niners are phasing him out in favor of Woerner anyway.