49ers Blog and Q&A

News, notes and reader questions about the San Francisco 49ers

December 17, 2013
Source: 49ers work out sometimes-FB Will Tukuafu

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The 49ers' search for a fullback includes a familiar face - Will Tukuafu, who spent the last three years with the team. According to a league source, Tukuafu worked out for the team today, but the 49ers have not yet reached a decision on whether to add him to the roster.

The 6-4, 293-pound Tukuafu primarily is a defensive linemen, but he played 90 snaps for San Francisco at fullback last season. He also took some snaps at fullback during the recent preseason.

Tukuafu suffered a knee injury before the start of the season. He signed an injury settlement with the team in September and was released. That settlement, however, expired and the 49ers now are free to re-sign him.

Miller suffered a broken left scapula when he was hit by Tampa Bay defensive back Keith Tandy following a reception in the fourth quarter. The 49ers likely will place him on injured reserve, ending his season, including the playoffs. Miller is expected to make a full recovery and be ready for training camp.

Miller not only was Frank Gore's lead blocker, he has been the team's third-leading receiver. Tukuafu has surprisingly good hands for a man who weighs nearly 300 pounds. But if signed he is unlikely to fill Miller's role by himself. Instead, look for the 49ers to take a by-committee approach to the position with Anthony Dixon and Derek Carrier filling in in various ways.

The 49ers also have the option of using more three-wide receiver sets than they have in the past. The team's third wide receiver, Mario Manningham, has one catch for two yards in the last three games. Manningham played only 14 of 74 offensive snaps Sunday against the Buccaneers. Miller played 41 snaps, despite leaving the game with 7 minutes remaining.

-- Matt Barrows



MATTHEW BARROWS

Matt was born in Blacksburg, Va., and attended the University of Virginia. He graduated in 1995, went to Northwestern for a journalism degree a year later, and got his first job at a South Carolina daily in 1997. He joined The Bee as a Metro reporter in 1999 and started covering the 49ers in 2003. His favorite player of all time is Darrell Green.

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