49ers

49ers' George Kittle breaks NFL season record for receiving yards by tight end

49ers' George Kittle breaks NFL season record for receiving yards by tight end

LOS ANGELES -- George Kittle broke the NFL single-season record for receiving yards by a tight end in his final game -- and on his final catch -- of the year.

Needing just 2 more yards to set the mark Sunday against the Los Angeles Rams, the San Francisco 49ers star caught Nick Mullens' short pass and took it 43 yards for a touchdown with 2:20 to play.

Travis Kelce, the Kansas City Chiefs tight end who sent Kittle a signed jersey this past week as the two chased history, held the record for just a few moments Sunday. He caught five passes for 62 yards in a rout of the Oakland Raiders, giving him 1,336 yards on the season. New England Patriots star Rob Gronkowski’s league record of 1,327 yards had stood from 2011.

Kittle countered with nine catches for 149 yards, though, finishing with 1,377 on the season to snatch away the record.

Kittle also broke Eric Johnson’s 49ers single-season record for the most receptions by a tight end. Johnson caught 82 of his 117 targets for 825 yards and two touchdowns in his record-setting 2004 season. Kittle finished the day with nine receptions, giving him 88 on 136 targets on the season.

The second-year pro fell just 5 yards shy of breaking Shannon Sharpe's NFL single-game record for receiving yards by a tight end three weeks ago. Kittle caught seven passes for 210 yards in the first half against the Denver Broncos, but he didn't have a reception in the second half, causing 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan to apologize for the oversight.

There wasn't an oversight this time, though, as Shanahan went right to Kittle with little time left, first with a 6-yard pass to the right, then the record-setting throw in the 49ers' 48-32 season-ending loss.

Team management was waiting for Kittle in the tunnel with congratulations.

For Kittle, it's now on to the Pro Bowl, then preparations for the 49ers' 2019 season.

Twitter reacts: Bay Area athletes, teams celebrate Memorial Day 2020

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USATSI

Twitter reacts: Bay Area athletes, teams celebrate Memorial Day 2020

Memorial Day signifies the unofficial start to summer in the United States.

It's also a big benchmark on the sports calendar.

The 2020 MLB season should have been in full swing, ready to turn the page on its second month. Monday would have been filled with pageantry at the ballparks around the country as teams honored our military servicepeople and veterans.

The NBA and NHL playoffs, likely without all three Northern California teams, should have been in the conference finals stage.

Instead, this was a very different Memorial Day due to the global coronavirus pandemic.

[RELATED: Watch flyover above Levi's Stadium]

That didn't stop Bay Area athletes and teams from celebrating the holiday on social media:

We hope everyone had a safe and healthy Memorial Day.

Watch majestic Memorial Day flyover above 49ers' Levi's Stadium

Watch majestic Memorial Day flyover above 49ers' Levi's Stadium

We’re all in this together.

The 49ers partnered up with the California Air National Guard to salute those on the front lines of the fight against the coronavirus pandemic.

[RELATED: Do 49ers have more offensive weapons than Seahawks, Cardinals, Rams?]

The flyover was handled by the Guard’s 129th Rescue Wing.

California Governor Gavin Newsom recently said sports could return to the state by the first week of June, so we hopefully will be seeing the Niners take the field at Levi’s Stadium this fall.

[49ERS INSIDER PODCAST: Listen to the latest episode]