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One instrumental member of the San Francisco 49ers who helped save their season is back with the team.
In a series of moves announced by the franchise on the afternoon of Thursday, March 10, the 49ers have made key reserve tackle Colton McKivitz a priority on the offensive line, as he’s among the four 49ers who signed to one-year extensions with the team.
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For those who aren’t familiar with McKivitz, he faced the critical task of filling in for the injured All-Pro Trent Williams with the 49ers’ season on the line on January 9 against the Los Angeles Rams at SoFi Stadium.
McKivitz Took One of the League’s Fiercest Rushers in Playoff Clinching Win
It’s one thing to fill in for Williams with a playoff spot on the line. But the 6-foot-6, 301-pounder had to keep Aaron Donald neutralized for most of the game.
Donald, per Pro Football Focus, never got a sack in 35 pass rushing attempts while moving up and down the Rams’ line.
On McKivitz’s end, he didn’t allow a sack until a late fourth quarter one from Von Miller. He was also a force in the running game — as the 49ers racked up 62 of their 135 rushing yards that day up McKivitz’s left side. McKivitz took all 70 offensive snaps with his fellow 49er linemen that game.
There are fans and those who cover the 49ers who have welcomed the former All-Big 12 performer from West Virginia McKivitz back to the 49ers.
Other Notable 49er Signings Help Fill Key Areas
Along with McKivitz, the 49ers addressed another critical area that needs depth heading into the 2022 season: The backfield.
The team signed free agent JaMycal Hasty to a one-year extension to help fill a backfield that features rookies Trey Sermon and last year’s leading rusher Elijah Mitchell — but is facing other free agent questions with Raheem Mostert, Trenton Cannon and Jeff Wilson all unrestricted free agents. The 25-year-old Hasty was the only one who was an exclusive rights free agent.
Hasty was able to make his way to the final 53-man roster off of plays like this during the preseason:
Hasty saw action in 11 games this past season and ran for 157 yards in the 49ers’ run-oriented zone scheme. His lone touchdown came in the season opener versus the Detroit Lions.
Outside of McKivitz and Hasty signing extensions, here’s who else signed back with the 49ers and the role they’ll be expected to play:
Kevin Givens: The interior defensive lineman played in 13 games in the 49ers’ defensive line rotation — collecting 17 tackles (seven solo) and forcing one fumble. Givens was another who was integral to the 49ers when called upon in the Week 18 win over the Rams.
The 25-year-old Givens was an exclusive rights free agent who had a base salary of $685,551 per Spotrac.
Maurice Hurst: Hurst appeared in just two games and went to tally two solo tackles, but one for a loss. The 26-year-old dealt with injuries in 2021. The Athletic’s David Lombardi says the 49ers will likely keep him on a league minimum contract.
Here was the value Hurst brought on defense when facing the run:
Lastly, quarterback Nate Sudfield signed a reserves/futures contract to remain with the 49ers. The 6-foot-6, 227-pounder spent time on the practice squad this past season.