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SANTA CLARA – Tight end Vernon Davis avoided a significant ankle injury and could be back on the field Sunday for the 49ers’ game against the Arizona Cardinals, a source said.
Davis underwent an MRI examination on Monday that revealed a deep bruise and no structural damage to his left ankle, according to the source.
Davis sustained the injury on a fourth-quarter play in which his foot got caught under Chicago Bears linebacker Jonathan Bostic at the end of Davis’ 8-yard reception.
Davis did not return for the final 10 minutes of the game, and was seen on crutches in the 49ers’ locker room afterward.
It is not known if Davis will participate in practices this week, as the 49ers prepare for a matchup against the NFC West’s only unbeaten team.
The status of 49ers backup tight end Vance McDonald is not known. McDonald sustained a right knee injury on Frank Gore’s second-quarter touchdown run that was nullified due to a penalty.
McDonald was blocking defensive end Jared Allen when linebacker Shea McClellin rolled into the back of his leg after missing a tackle on Gore. McDonald returned briefly after the half but did not see any playing time in the fourth quarter.
[MAIOCCO: 49ers Week 2 loss to Bears: Three positives]
Derek Carrier, the 49ers' No. 3 tight end, had the first three receptions of his NFL career for 41 yards in the 49ers’ 28-20 loss to the Bears. Also, long-snapper Kyle Nelson is capable of playing tight end. Nelson had six catches for 21 yards during the exhibition season, including two touchdowns in the 49ers' final preseason game against the Houston Texans.
The 49ers also have two tight ends on the practice squad: Asante Cleveland and Xavier Grimble, who was signed on Monday.