Fullback Bruce Miller is expected to miss the remainder of the season with an injury to his left scapula that was sustained late in the 49ers’ 33-14 victory Sunday over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
“It doesn’t look good,” 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh said Monday during his weekly press conference.
Miller sustained the significant injury to his shoulder blade on a big hit from Tampa Bay safety Keith Tandy at the sideline in the fourth quarter. Miller fumbled the ball out of bounds. He did not return to action and was in noticeable pain as he required assistance to pull on a sweatshirt for the 49ers' trip home.
[REWIND: Miller scheduled for X-rays on arm]
Miller was experiencing too much swelling to undergo an X-ray, he said. He had an X-ray on Monday that revealed the damage.
Harbaugh said former Stanford star Owen Marecic, who spent two weeks with the 49ers earlier this season, was “en route.” The 49ers are expected to sign Marecic, pending a physical. The 49ers signed Marecic, who played his first two NFL seasons with the Cleveland Browns, on Sept. 17, and waived him on Oct. 1.
Miller, a third-year pro, was third on the 49ers with 25 receptions for 243 yards. He was also an integral part of the 49ers’ run game as a lead-blocker for 1,000-yard rusher Frank Gore.
“He does so many things in the protection, in the run game, receiving out of the backfield,” Harbaugh said. “He is a multi-talented, multi-use player. He's a special teams contributor on two or three phases. So it's a loss.”
Anthony Dixon entered the game in the fourth quarter and played seven snaps at fullback in place of Miller. The 49ers also figure to use formations calling for two tight ends with Vernon Davis paired with Vance McDonald, Garrett Celek or Derek Carrier to compensate for the loss of Miller.