After Jimmy Garoppolo tore his ACL against the Chiefs, the 49ers season became more about preparing for the return of the franchise than winning here and now. But biggest silver lining of a disappointing season in Santa Clara was the emergence of George Kittle as a top-tier TE.
Kittle broke the record for most receiving yards in a season for a tight end (1377) against the Los Angeles Rams in Week 17. But he said if not for a timely defensive stop, he’s not sure he would have had a chance at the record.
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The Iowa product joined the Murph & Mac show live from radio row in Atlanta Friday morning to tell the story.
“It was fourth down and we called a timeout,” Kittle said. “And coach Shanahan went over to the defensive huddle and was like, “Hey look, if you guys can stop ’em here, we’re going to get George the ball and he’s going to break the record.
“And (Antone) Exum just free safety blitzed without a call, and he got a tackle in the backfield. So that was 100 percent on him, so that was special.”
Right now Kittle’s gloves and jersey from the record-breaking game are spending a year in Canton, OH at the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Kittle said he’ll put the jersey in a case at home when he gets it back, unless he breaks his own record in the future.