49ers add former Colts tight end as need for healthy weapons increases


With the regular season fast approaching, the 49ers’ stable of available weapons seems to be dwindling by the day. On Sunday, first-round rookie Brandon Aiyuk joined fellow wide outs Deebo Samuel and Richie James Jr. (not to mention the indefinitely shelved Jalen Hurd) on the injured list, when he pulled up lame with what appeared to be a hamstring issue.

Additionally, the 49ers have been without Jordan Reed for the entirety of training camp, and Ross Dwelley is currently sidelined with a foot injury. All of this leads us to Monday’s move to acquire TE Erik Swoope, who featured sporadically with the Colts from 2014-2018.

Swoope, 28, like so many tight ends was a standout basketball player, playing the sport at the University of Miami while never seeing the football field. Swoope signed with the Colts as an undrafted free agent in 2014, and broke into the team in 2016, finishing the season with 297 yards on 15 catches and a touchdown. He scored three touchdowns the next season despite only catching a total of eight passes.

Swoope is a big target at 6′ 5″ and known for his leaping ability. In addition to Reed and Dwelley, Swoope joins a tight end room also consisting of George Kittle, rookie Charlie Woerner and undrafted rookie Chase Harrell. It is assumed that the 49ers will carry four tight ends on their opening day 53-man roster.

The biggest wild card remains Reed, who still hasn’t practiced as he eases back from a severe concussion he sustained last season.

“I think this is an important week for him. I don’t think it’s necessarily do or die in terms of his availability for the start of the season this week, but I would say by next week you at least want to get him out there because it’s been so long since he’s played and he needs to get back into football shape,” 49ers beat writer Nick Wagoner said on KNBR Monday.

“It’s especially critical in a year like this where it’s important to get out there and reestablish himself. It helps that he has at least some knowledge of Kyle Shanahan’s offense, although it’s not as extensive as guys who are around him for a long time, for him to get in some reps and work his way back in.”

 

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