Despite downplaying the coming milestone this week -- "I never had goals like that," Boldin said this week -- he quickly threw the ball to the 49ers' sideline for safekeeping.
The milestone came in Boldin's 185th career game, with only Marvin Harrison (167), Andre Johnson (168), Jerry Rice (181) and Larry Fitzgerald (182) getting to 1,000 catches in their respective careers, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
The 35-year-old Boldin had five catches for 27 yards at halftime of Sunday's game against the Lions. He is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent and wants to return to the rebuilding 49ers next season.
"I like the people here," Boldin said. "The organization has been good to me. And I have roots here now. There's a lot of people, a lot of relationships that I've built in this community.
"When the time does come, it will just be hard to say goodbye."
Earlier this season, the former Arizona Cardinals and Baltimore Ravens receiver became the first player in league history to have at least 50 receptions and 600 yards receiving in his first 13 seasons.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.