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49ers promote TE Cole Hikutini to active roster

The 49ers have promoted a practice squad player to the 53-man roster after the release of NaVorro Bowman.

NFL: Los Angeles Chargers at San Francisco 49ers Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

The San Francisco 49ers have promoted tight end Cole Hikutini to the 53-man roster, the team announced on Saturday. Hikutini was previously on the team’s practice squad after he was released as part of preseason roster cuts.

He fills the final spot on the roster that was vacated when the team parted ways with veteran linebacker NaVorro Bowman on Friday.

Hikutini originally signed with the team as an undrafted free agent in May 2017. He was waived on Sept. 2 as part of cuts, and was added to the practice squad shortly after. He played college ball at Louisville, appearing in 24 games (13 starts), with 69 receptions for 1,016 yards and 11 touchdowns.

George Kittle is the 49ers’ top tight end, with 17 receptions for 166 yards and a touchdown on the season. He is also a rookie, and is ahead of Garrett Celek on the depth chart. Logan Paulsen is also an active tight end on the roster, while Kyle Nelson is technically listed as one but is the team’s long snapper.

For more information on Hikutini, check the 90-in-90 breakdown from May 10, and also a list of five fun facts about him, courtesy of Tracy Sandler.

No tight ends are on the 49ers’ injury report going into Sunday’s game against Washington, though fullback Kyle Juszczyk was ruled out with a back injury. I would guess that Hikutini is inactive any other day, and would be the first person back off the roster if the 49ers needed to add somebody somewhere else.