SANTA CLARA – Fullback Bruce Miller played nearly 60 percent of the 49ers’ offensive snaps through the first 14 games of the season.
While the 49ers must adjust with Miller out for the remainder of the season with a fractured scapula, quarterback Colin Kaepernick said the team’s identity will remain largely intact.
“I don’t think our mentality will change,” Kaepernick said on Wednesday. “Bruce did a lot for us. He made a lot of things work for us. We might have to tweak things here and there to try to put people in positions we feel are beneficial, but at the end of the day, we’re not going to completely change our scheme because we lost one component. We still have to stay true to our identity.”
Backup Anthony Dixon is likely to take over as the team’s fullback, though he is not expected to play as much as Miller. The 49ers signed 293-pound Will Tukuafu on Wednesday, but it’s uncertain what role he will have. The 49ers are likely to adjust the frequency they use different personnel groupings.
And the 49ers could use more three-receiver sets with Anquan Boldin, Michael Crabtree and Mario Manningham.
“We're going to have to see how it plays out,” Kaepernick said. “That's going to be kind of what we figure out this week, I think. Is our game plan going to change? Do we feel more comfortable in a different set because Bruce isn't in there now? Is it something where we have to revamp different things? But I think for the most part we'll stay true to who we are continue doing what we've been doing.”