Rookie tight end Blake Bell is ready to assume an expanded role with the San Francisco 49ers.
The former Oklahoma University quarterback should continue to receive more chances with 49ers starting tight end Garrett Celek sidelined with a high ankle sprain sustained in Sunday's 19-13 loss to the Arizona Cardinals.
Bell caught all three of his targets for 67 yards once Celek was injured Sunday and combined with third-year tight end Vance McDonald to snag nine receptions for 138 yards. Bell entered the contest with only three catches on the season.
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“I was ready for my opportunity,” Bell said. “With Celek going down, I knew I had to go in there and make some plays. Making a couple catches was awesome, and I can continue to build on that.”
Nicknamed the “Belldozer” while at Oklahoma, Bell accounted for 40 touchdowns in 40 games, rushing for 24, throwing for a dozen more and catching four scoring passes as a senior when he was switched to tight end.
“He's a talented guy,” 49ers coach Jim Tomsula said. “He's still ascending and we're excited about where he's going.”