The San Francisco 49ers depth chart at tight end took a literal beating in Sunday’s loss to the Carolina Panthers.
Starter Vernon Davis left Sunday’s game with a concussion and must pass the league’s concussion protocol this week before he can be cleared for next weekend’s game in New Orleans. Backup Garrett Celek left with a hamstring injury and tried to return in the second half against the Panthers, but couldn’t go.
That left Vance McDonald as the only healthy tight end and the 49ers were forced to use tackle Adam Snyder as the second tight end in their double-tight sets.
Derek Carrier is currently on the 49ers practice squad and would be the most likely candidate to move onto the 53-man roster.
Carrier spent time with the Oakland Raiders and Philadelphia Eagles last season, but did not appear in any games. He was added to the 49ers practice squad in September.
Coach Jim Harbaugh told the Sacramento Bee on Monday that any decision about signing a free-agent tight end would not be made until the injuries to Davis and Celek could be more thoroughly assessed.
Tight end wasn’t the only injury concern coming out of Sunday’s game. Rookie safety Eric Reid suffered his second concussion of the season and it was a scary one.
Reid will also have to pass the concussion protocol before being cleared to play against the Saints next Sunday. Harbaugh said Reid “seemed to be doing good” after the game. Reid was also concussed in the loss at Seattle in September.