One of the most impressive things about the 49ers' explosion on offense over the last five games of the 2017 season was the fact they did it without top wide receiver Pierre Garcon, who missed the final two months of the season due to a broken bone in his neck. Fortunately it sounds like Garcon will be back at 100 percent by the time offseason activities start, at which time he'll get his chance to get acclimated on the field with quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo.
"Pierre is healing up," 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan said during the team's year-end press conference Tuesday, per 49ers.com. "He’s going to be good to go and I’m pumped to get him back for OTAs."
Things looked bleak at the receiver position after Garcon's injury, but several players stepped up in his absence, notably wide receiver Marquise Goodwin, who had 36 catches for 613 yards after Garcon went on IR. Also playing a big role were rookie receivers Trent Taylor and Kendrick Bourne as well as tight ends Garrett Celek and George Kittle, and as a group the pass catchers played well enough to instill a great deal of confidence in their potential going forward.
"It was a huge challenge when we lost Pierre halfway through the year, especially with him being the veteran of that group, one of the only guys who had ever started before," Shanahan said. "So, that was a big loss when we lost Pierre and put a lot of pressure on other guys. It didn’t happen right away, but throughout that time Pierre was gone, Marquise took it to another level, Bourne ended up helping us out, Trent Taylor started playing at a higher level. Kittle came back, finished strong. Celek, to me, played at a higher level. A lot of guys really stepped up to that challenge."
Source: 247SPORTS | Kirk Larrabee | January 3rd, 2018