“It doesn’t look good. It looks like he has an injury to his scapula,” said Jim Harbaugh, who made it sound like Miller would be headed to IR as soon as they sign his eventual replacement.
According to Chris Biderman, a source confirmed Miller suffered a fracture to his scapula.
“As we speak, yes,” said Harbaugh when asked whether the injury would probably keep Miller out through the playoffs.
Harbaugh said Owen Marecic was “en route” to Santa Clara to get a physical, so it appears he’ll re-sign with the team. Marecic joined the 49ers on Sept. 17, and was released two weeks later.
Along with Marecic, Harbaugh mentioned two other options: “Anthony Dixon, and then we could get creative with some other guys on the team.”
In taking a look at the roster, here are some of the guys they could “get creative with.”
Derek Carrier: backup tight end, roughly the same size as Miller.
Daniel Kilgore: buried on the offensive line depth chart, generally used as an extra blocker on run plays this season but has only seen 73 snaps. At 308 lbs, he would serve as a blocking fullback only — Kilgore is not a receiver.
Demarcus Dobbs: hasn’t made much impact defensively, but he was an emergency tight end last year.
Vance McDonald: the good news: he has 245 snaps of run-blocking experience. The bad news: McDonald has had a few rough games in that capacity, and he sat out yesterday’s game with an ankle injury.
Miller isn’t one of the 49ers’ stars, but his loss leaves a void in several areas. He only has seven carries for 13 yards this season, but he’s one of the best blocking fullbacks in the league and has 25 receptions for 243 yards.
“He does so many things in the protection and the run game, receiving out of the backfield,” said Harbaugh. “He is a multi-talented, multi-use player. Special teams contributor on two or three phases, so it’s a loss.”
A little good news: Harbaugh made it sound like Frank Gore (ankle) and Michael Crabtree (hand) were fine after yesterday’s game.