Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

49ers WR Jauan Jennings savors his first NFL touchdown, win over Eagles

Sep 19, 2021 at 5:01 PM--

San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Jauan Jennings wasn't exactly the first option on the play where he caught his first NFL touchdown in Sunday's 17-11 win over the Philadelphia Eagles, but when the ball came his way, he made his opportunity count.

Jennings' catch, which was also the first catch of his NFL career, came on an 11-yard pass from Jimmy Garoppolo to give the 49ers a 7-3 lead over the Eagles right before halftime. The 49ers had struggled on offense throughout a good portion of the first half, but they found momentum after their defense forced a turnover on downs on a goal line stand on the previous series, then were able to put together a 97-yard drive that was capped by Jennings' reception.

Jennings revealed to reporters after the game that he was the last option among Garoppolo's progressions on the play, but when Garoppolo looked to him, he was wide open for the score.

"It was just an unbelievable moment... All glory to God. I'm just thankful just for the opportunity. That's about it," Jennings said.

The touchdown was set up by a 40-yard pass from Garoppolo to wide receiver Deebo Samuel on the previous play. Jennings credited Samuel's catch for causing the Eagles to leave him wide open for the score.

"When I saw the ball I just knew no one was around me and it was a walk-in touchdown," Jennings said. "That stemmed from Deebo's 40-yard catch right before. So just all working together -- I was just so excited to go out there and score for my team."

Now, one would think that Jennings made it a point to keep the ball after he scored. But, as he said after the game, that wasn't the case.

"It's gone," Jennings said. "I don't know where it's at."

Perhaps someone will locate the ball and send it Jennings' way. But it seems like the victory over the Eagles is more important to him than having the ball.

"I'm not really worried about that football as much as I am for the win," Jennings said.

The catch was a long time coming for Jennings, who first joined the 49ers as a seventh-round pick in the 2020 NFL Draft out of the University of Tennessee. Jennings didn't make the 49ers as a rookie but was able to catch on with the practice squad and was later signed for the 2021 season on a futures contract. A strong performance during training camp and the preseason earned Jennings a spot on the current roster, and he intends to do what he can to reward the 49ers for their faith in his abilities.

"All this means the most," Jennings said. "From the very first time I made the team, it just means everything to me. This is what I wanted to do since I was a kid. For Kyle [head coach Kyle Shanahan] and the 49ers organization to have the trust and be able to put me on the field, it means the most to me. I've got to hold that end of the bargain up and not let this team down."

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