San Francisco 49ers

The fullback is back: 49ers plan to sign Juszczyk

Baltimore Ravens fullback Kyle Juszczyk rushes the ball in the second half an NFL football game against the Jacksonville Jaguars, Sunday, Nov. 15, 2015, in Baltimore.
Baltimore Ravens fullback Kyle Juszczyk rushes the ball in the second half an NFL football game against the Jacksonville Jaguars, Sunday, Nov. 15, 2015, in Baltimore. AP

The fullback is making a comeback in Santa Clara.

A year after they went through a season without one in Chip Kelly’s offense, the 49ers plan to sign free-agent fullback Kyle Juszczyk on Thursday, according to ESPN.

Juszczyk, 25, has played the last four seasons in Baltimore and notably was a reliable pass catcher the last two seasons, bringing in 78 passes for 587 yards and four touchdowns through the air over that span. Juszczyk (6-1, 240) likely will be used more like an H-back -- lining up in the backfield at times but also being sent in motion or lining up on the line of scrimmage.

Unlike Kelly, Kyle Shanahan uses a fullback in his offense, although he usually leans on three-receiver formations. His fullback in Atlanta, Patrick DiMarco, played in 31 percent of the team’s snaps last season, according to Pro Football Focus. DiMarco reportedly will sign with the Bills.

Matt Barrows: @mattbarrows, read more about the team at sacbee.com/sf49ers.

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