Ross Dwelley

49ers snap count: Ahkello Witherspoon eased back into starting role

49ers snap count: Ahkello Witherspoon eased back into starting role

SANTA CLARA – Cornerback Ahkello Witherspoon did not start, but he saw slightly more playing time Sunday night than Emmanuel Moseley, as the 49ers ease him back into his role.

“Akhello had a pretty good week of practice,” 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan said following the 49ers’ 37-8 victory over the Green Bay Packers on Sunday night. “Still thought he was about a week away to get his starting job back.

“It’s a matter of time before he does get that. We planned on putting Akhello in a couple series each half.”

Witherspoon played 49 snaps, while Moseley, making his eighth consecutive start, was on the field for 45 plays.

On offense, tight end Ross Dwelley saw a significant drop in playing time with George Kittle and Garrett Celek back in action. Dwelley, who started the past six games, played just five snaps. Veteran Levine Toilolo was inactive for the first time this season.

[RELATED: George Kittle's impact on 49ers' offense clear in big win over Packers]

The 49ers deactivated veteran wide receiver Marquise Goodwin and had five receivers in uniform. Deebo Samuel, Emmanuel Sanders and Kendrick Bourne saw the most playing time. Richie James was on the field for 13 plays, while Dante Pettis played just seven snaps.

Here is a look at how much everyone on the 49ers played Sunday on offense, defense and special teams:

Offense

Total offensive snaps: 48
Quarterback – Jimmy Garoppolo 48
Running back – Tevin Coleman 29, Kyle Juszczyk 23, Raheem Mostert 14, Jeff Wilson 5
Wide receiver – Deebo Samuel 35, Emmanuel Sanders 32, Kendrick Bourne 24, Richie James 13, Dante Pettis 7
Tight end – George Kittle 38, Garrett Celek 15, Ross Dwelley 5
Offensive line – Laken Tomlinson 48, Mike Person 48, Mike McGlinchey 48, Weston Richburg 48, Daniel Brunskill 28, Justin Skule 20
Did not play – QB Nick Mullens, OL Ben Garland

Defense

Total defensive snaps: 80
Defensive line – Nick Bosa 54, Arik Armstead 50, DeForest Buckner 49, Solomon Thomas 42, D.J. Jones 38, Damontre Moore 34, Sheldon Day 29, Jullian Taylor 25
Linebacker – Dre Greenlaw 74, Fred Warner 68, Azeez Al-Shaair 22, Elijah Lee 12
Defensive back – Jimmie Ward 68, Jaquiski Tartt 68, Richard Sherman 66, Ahkello Witherspoon 49, K’Waun Williams 46, Emmanuel Moseley 45, Tarvarius Moore 17, Marcell Harris 12, D.J. Reed 12

Special teams

Total special teams plays: 26
Mark Nzeocha 19, Moore 19, Lee 19, Nzeocha 19, Mitch Wishnowsky 18, Harris 18, James 15, Al-Shaair 14, Reed 13, Celek 12, Kyle Nelson 11, Mostert 11, Bourne 10, Moseley 10, Ward 9, Chase McLaughlin 7, McGlinchey 7, Tomlinson 7, Richburg 7, Brunskill 7, Skule 7, Dwelley 7, Armstead 7, Buckner 7, Person 6, Tartt 6, Juszczyk 4, Greenlaw 4, Wilson 4, Ben Garland 1.

Not active

QB C.J. Beathard
K Robbie Gould
WR Marquise Goodwin
RB Matt Breida
DE Dee Ford
LT Joe Staley
TE Levine Toilolo

Why 49ers' Jeff Wilson enjoyed celebrating game-winning TD vs. Cardinals

Why 49ers' Jeff Wilson enjoyed celebrating game-winning TD vs. Cardinals

Jeff Wilson has done a lot with a little bit of playing time this season.

The 49ers running back has scored five touchdowns in seven games in 2019, finding the end zone on 10 percent of the offensive snaps in which he has lined up. His latest TD was the winning one in San Francisco's 36-26 victory over the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday at Levi's Stadium.

It came on Wilson's lone offensive snap of the day, and he celebrated appropriately.

"It was just like all the pain I ever felt, all the mistakes I ever made, all the good times I ever had, just all that came out and went," Wilson told KNBR's "Papa & Lund" show Tuesday (H/T 49ers Webzone). "This game meant a lot to me. Obviously, just not playing the whole game, just to get one play, and then the play, you get in and score, and it's for a big moment for the game, it was just all so surreal to me."

[RELATED: How Packers, 49ers gave LaFleur bros 'win-win' situation]

The 49ers got by with a little help from their depth in Week 11, as backup tight end Ross Dwelley hauled in a pair of touchdowns in place of George Kittle and rookie wide receiver Deebo Samuel played on more offensive snaps than anyone else at a skill position. Kittle and running back Matt Breida returning likely would push Dwelley and Wilson, respectively, down the depth chart for San Francisco's Sunday night matchup with the 8-2 Green Bay Packers.

If Wilson manages to get another scoring opportunity, the 49ers know they can trust him to deliver in a big moment and be ready to celebrate.

49ers' Ross Dwelley remains humble despite breakout game vs. Cardinals

49ers' Ross Dwelley remains humble despite breakout game vs. Cardinals

SANTA CLARA — If your job description was modified every week, how willing and able would you be adapting to the demands of your superiors? 

That’s exactly what 49ers tight end Ross Dwelley has done successfully week after week in the first six starts of his career. He has adjusted his play for injured players at fullback, offensive line and of course, tight end, in a seamless fashion.

Dwelley has even been given the nickname “Baby George” by his teammates for how similar he is becoming to Pro Bowl tight end George Kittle. Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, however, may have just given Dwelley a new moniker. 

“Yeah, he’s kind of the Swiss army knife in our offense right now,” Garoppolo said. “He does a little bit of everything, lines up split out at receiver sometimes, so you’ve got to tip your hat to him. 

“He’s had a lot on his plate the last however many weeks just with guys being down. He doesn’t even hesitate. He just attacks it, gets the formation and goes out there and performs. When his number is called, he does a great job.”

With all the praise he has been given over the last few weeks, Dwelley remains soft spoken and humble. His first answers in interviews always point to the closeness of the locker room and the support he has been given, even though he has been the one doing the extra credit work. 

“We have a lot of guys on this team stepping up when when guys go down,” Dwelley said when asked about filling in for Kittle. “It just speaks to how special this team is overall. We all got each others backs and we all just try to step up when we need to.” 

Dwelley might not have actually lined up on the offensive line but his play definitely supported backups Justin Skule and Daniel Brunskill when he stepped in for fullback Kyle Juszczyk who was nursing a knee injury. Coach Kyle Shanahan gave a lot of credit to the second-year tight end for all of the things he does that don’t show up on the stats sheet. 

“Ross has been great,” Shanahan said. “He’s been great all year. He was unbelievable stepping up, taking over for Juice when Juice was out and he’s been great stepping up for Kittle when he’s been out. 

“Ross has been one of the better football players on our team this year and doesn’t get a lot of accolades because he’s not going to sit there and get a bunch of explosive plays, but he’s as good of a football player as we’ve got going right now.”

Dwelley’s hard work paid off in the 49ers 36-26 victory over the Cardinals. Half of his four receptions went for touchdowns, the first two of his career. While Shanahan called the plays for Dwelley’s trips to the end zone, in a light-heartened manner he wants to make sure his tight end doesn’t get over confident.

[RELATED: Kittle impressed by Dwelley's play]

Dwelley’s low yards per catch average for the season are a constant point of reference by Shanahan to keep his player in check. While Dwelley currently is averaging 4.7 yards per reception, up until Week 9, it barely stood at one yard. 

“It’s fun to mess with him,” Shanahan said. “I mean, we respect the heck out of him. I said he was the best football player on our team yesterday, so I don’t mind messing with his average. He also had a 14-yarder called back so that’s where he got messed up. Or it was 10 yards I’m not sure. It’s better to keep his average down just to keep him humble. You know, we don’t want him to get carried away."