San Francisco 49ers

49ers promote tight end Cole Hikutini to 53-man squad

Louisville tight end Cole Hikutini (18) catches a pass during a NCAA football game against Pittsburgh, Saturday, Nov. 21, 2015 in Pittsburgh.
Louisville tight end Cole Hikutini (18) catches a pass during a NCAA football game against Pittsburgh, Saturday, Nov. 21, 2015 in Pittsburgh. AP

The 49ers on Saturday filled the roster spot left by NaVorro Bowman’s exit by promoting rookie tight end Cole Hikutini from the practice squad to the active roster.

Hikutini, a Pleasant Grove High School graduate, was one of the team’s top targets as a free agent after the draft. The 49ers envisioned the former Louisville player as a candidate for their “move” tight end spot, which at the time was occupied by Vance McDonald.

They eventually traded McDonald to the Pittsburgh Steelers and kept rookie George Kittle, Garrett Celek and Logan Paulsen as their tight ends.

With fullback Kyle Juszczyk out for Sunday’s game with a back injury, San Francisco’s tight ends are bound to get extra work.

Hikutini will wear No. 83.

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

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