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49ers to Monitor Vernon Davis, Weigh TE Options

Posted Nov 11, 2013

The 49ers may look to add a tight end to the 53-man roster given the injuries to its starter and reserve Garrett Celek.

There was no doubt that Vernon Davis’ absence was felt after Davis went down with a second-quarter concussion in Sunday’s defeat to the Carolina Panthers.

Just ask his teammates.

Quarterback Colin Kaepernick said Davis “changes defenses.” Center Jonathan Goodwin said not having Davis at disposal was “a huge difference.”

So the 49ers hope is that they won’t have to go without their Pro Bowl pass-catcher much longer.

Jim Harbaugh said on Monday that both Davis (concussion) and reserve Garrett Celek (hamstring) were undergoing tests. Davis, who caught one pass for two yards before exiting on Sunday, came out of the game after dropping a second-quarter pass near the goal-line while being tackled by Panthers safety Mike Mitchell.

Davis would need to complete the NFL’s week-long protocol to be eligible to play in the team’s Week 11 matchup at New Orleans.

Without either Davis or Celek before halftime, offensive coordinator Greg Roman was forced out of packages that featured multiple tight ends. Post-half, the coaching staff employed backup tackle Adam Snyder at the end position.

“I’m not going to use any excuses nor is anybody going to alibi, but we did lose two tight ends in the game,” Harbaugh said Monday. “Celek before Vernon, and that contributed.”

The team featured rookie Vance McDonald at the end position with Davis out of action, but he went catch-less. There is also Derek Carrier, another end who has yet to make his pro debut and could be elevated from the practice squad, if necessary.

“We’re looking at some options right now, and there are some decisions to be made,” said Harbaugh, who didn't rule out the addition of a free agent. “You wait until you get the medical results back and then have more evidence to make those decisions.”

Beyond Kaepernick and Goodwin, other 49ers players were preparing themselves to play without their passing game’s No. 1 target.

“Injuries are a part of the game, so that’s stuff that you have to deal with,” wide receiver Mario Manningham said after his first game of the season on Sunday night. “We just have to come back and do what we have to do to execute.”

Fullback Bruce Miller added, “Guys have to step in and keep up.”

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