Freddie Swain will return a kickoff back for a touchdown
To be honest, I like D.J. Reed better as a kick returner than Freddie Swain but Reed has become far too valuable a cornerback to risk him to needless injury by returning kickoffs. And Swain was good as a returner in college and has gotten a bit better each week doing to same for the Seahawks. Against the Rams, Swain returned two kicks for an average of 27 yards with a long of 28. That means his other return went for 26, obviously, so both returns were positive.
The 49ers are not good at covering kickoffs, giving up an average of 24.8 yards a return which is 24th in the NFL. (Seattle is 14th in the NFL allowing 21.8 yards per return.) San Francisco has also allowed a kickoff return this season already. And the 49ers also won’t have regular kicker Robbie Gould available on Sunday as he is out week 17 and is on the injured/COVID-19 list.
In Gould’s absence, the 49ers signed Tristan Vizcaino. University of Washington fans will be familiar with Vizcaino as he kicked for the Huskies in 2017. Vizcaino, though, hasn’t kicked in a real game since. And at Washington, Vizcaino only kicked 22.6 percent of his kickoffs into the end zone in 2017 (17 of 75). This means Swain should have a good chance of returning a kick.
Swain’s kick return will come at the beginning of the second half and give Seattle a bit more of a lead in what will become a tight game.