Brandon Aiyuk did something Sunday that no other 49ers wide receiver had in 50 years.
The rookie scored his first career touchdown in Week 3 against the New York Giants, rushing 16 yards for the score at MetLife Stadium. He became the first 49ers wide receiver since 1970 to run for their first career TD, according to the Elias Sports Bureau (h/t 49ers.com’s Keiana Martin).
Aiyuk rushed three times for 31 yards Sunday, catching five passes for another 70 yards. His versatility intrigued the 49ers to trade up to select the Arizona State product with the No. 25 overall selection in this year’s draft, and Aiyuk flashed it in his second NFL game.
“Last week was fine to get out there, get my feet wet a little bit,” Aiyuk said of preparing for his second game (h/t 49ers.com’s Keiana Martin). “But I was just excited to come back and play the next game just because of how I got that feeling of not knowing what it was, what it would have been like out there. So after I got that out of the way, I was excited to get to work this week. I knew I’d be more of an option in the offense, so it was a fun week and exciting. There are still a lot of things to clean up but it was a step in the right direction.”
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Aiyuk’s emergence in the absence of so many offensive starters bodes well for the 49ers as they get healthier. Wide receiver Deebo Samuel, tight end George Kittle, running back Raheem Mostert and quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo didn’t play at all Sunday against the Giants, and the 49ers still compiled 420 yards of total offense Sunday.
As long as Aiyuk continues to improve, the 49ers’ offense will remain threatening in their absence.
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