49ers sign TE Daniel Helm off the Buccaneers practice squad

49ers Mandatory Credit: Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports
49ers Mandatory Credit: Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports /

The San Francisco 49ers have signed tight end Daniel Helm off the Buccaneers’ practice squad.

The San Francisco 49ers lost their top tight end George Kittle in Week 1 and in Week 3, they lost his backup in Jordan Reed. In just three weeks, the 49ers lost both of their top two tight ends to injury.

That’s just how the 2020 season has been going for the 49ers, though.

Reed is expected to miss 6-8 weeks with an MCL sprain adding yet another 49ers player to the injured reserve and diminishing the team’s tight end depth even further. And while there is optimism that Kittle will return this week, the 49ers still realized that they needed bodies.

As a result, they went out and signed a familiar face in the form of Daniel Helm of off the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ practice squad.

Helm spent time in San Francisco last season but never appeared in a game. He was also on their offseason roster, but got cut prior to training camp.

However, with just two healthy tight ends on the roster at the moment, a move clearly had to be made.

Daniel Helm gives the 49ers extra depth at the tight end position.

Provided both Kittle and Reed can’t go this Sunday, the 49ers will turn to last year’s primary backup, Ross Dwelley, as their top tight end when the team takes on the Philadelphia Eagles in Week 4.

Dwelley impressed in limited playing time last season and hauled in four catches for 49 yards once Reed went down with an injury this past week. But Dwelley isn’t the only tight end under contract.

San Francisco also has sixth-round pick Charlie Woerner who impressed the coaching staff in training camp. Woerner has played 21 offensive snaps this season with his usage increasing each week.

And assuming Kittle isn’t ready for Sunday, that paying time figures to skyrocket given the frequency in which head coach Kyle Shanahan uses multiple tight end sets.

However, the 22-year-old has struggled a bit as a blocker which might also explain the move to bring in Helm who’s more of a traditional blocking tight end.

At the very least, Helm will provide extra depth given the injuries to both Kittle and Reed.

49ers: Jordan Reed could miss up to two months, will be placed on IR. dark. Next

Even if Kittle plays on Sunday, the 49ers like to carry four tight ends so it’s likely Helm stays on the roster for the time being.