Celek has spent months recovering from a back injury and returned to practice last week. While the 49ers’ previous stance was to give Celek multiple weeks of practice before activating him, they are evidently satisfied by his progress.
This points to Kittle missing tonight’s game. To make room for Celek’s return, the 49ers waived cornerback Dontae Johnson. Celek joins Kittle, Levine Toilolo and Ross Dwelley as San Francisco’s active-roster tight ends. Kittle is battling ankle and knee injuries.
The 49ers’ longest-tenured skill-position player, Celek underwent back surgery in June. He has been with the team since 2012 and is still tethered to an extension he signed in 2016. The 31-year-old tight end only caught five passes last season, that limited work coming after his 2016-17 slates produced a combined 50 receptions for 686 yards and seven touchdowns.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.