Bruce Miller injures scapula (shoulder blade), may be out for season

SANTA CLARA — Here is what Jim Harbaugh said about Bruce Miller at his Monday press conference.

Q: Is there an injury update for Bruce Miller?

HARBAUGH: Yeah, it doesn’t look good. It looks like he has an injury to his scapula.

Q: How significant of a loss is that?

HARBAUGH: Very significant. He does so many things in the protection, the run game, receiving out of the backfield. He is a multi-talented, multi-use player, special teams contributor on two, three phases. It’s a loss.

Q: Can you guess how many weeks he’ll be out?

HARBAUGH: Not right now. We have a pretty good idea, but I won’t say anything officially, but it doesn’t look good right now. But it’s something he’ll heal from.

Q: But you’re preparing to not have him the rest of the way, even in the playoffs?

HARBAUGH: As we speak, yes. Owen Marecic hopefully is in route. We’ll look at our options.

      1. Yes, it really is Lowell. I never heard of a scapula. I have heard of the shoulder blade. I do read Grant’s blog — with pleasure. And I stay silent. I needed clarification on this point. Thanks.

      2. Ola! So if you read, you know we throw spitballs.
        Btw, I will be interested in your retrospective on The Stick in your column; notwithstanding any effort here by Grant.

      3. I personally don’t believe Lowell Cohn doesn’t know what a scapula is. This is an impostor.

        And in other news, the clavicle is the collar bone, the metatarsal is the tiny bone in the foot, and the three bones of the ear are called the ossicles! Will the real Lowell Cohn please step forward?

      4. Nah, it’s him. I’d just looked it up on Wiki when he posted, so I tried to bust his chops a bit. Then Grant edited in ‘shoulder blade’ on the headline.

  1. Not good. We’d been on a nice trend re health. Hope Marecic can step up. Hopefully he and our other newly returned weapons makes this a relative footnote in an otherwise great story/year

    1. Yeah this is a significant blow…not only for the run game, but he actually has become somewhat of an outlet for Kaep…He trusts him

      It will be interesting to see how this changes our game planning….this one hurts

      1. I will say that Marecic signing looks a lot better now…I could see us using a combonation of OM, Boobie, and Celek to make up for loss of Miller….it may actually help diversify our offense a little more….i’m just trying to see the positives here.

  2. I cannot for the life of me comprehend how we do not have a plug in backup to that position.
    At my place of business when we are slow we cross train the critical areas. Boobie makes perfect sense. On second thought, someone call William “bar none” Floyd.

      1. And a possible receiver option, but won’t be ready until the playoffs. Boobie has met more than a few challenges in his career, we’ll see how he does.

      2. The 49ers should use you as a business consultant Bay. Apparently your business is on par with the billionaire dollar operation like the 49ers who are so ignorant that they don’t even have a back up fullback or plan B in their mindset.
        Gee how could they be so dumb!

      3. Hey Prime,

        How are you so sure that they don’t have one….do u expect them to tell the media their plan B….that doesn’t seem to be Harbaugh’s methodology

    1. The more I think about it, the more Boobie makes sense. He’s been in the offense long enough. He is familiar with the blocking assignments. As long as he packs a wallop as a blocker, he is actually an upgrade as a runner and receiver IMO. He is faster for sure.

      It just may be the break, ( no pun ) he needed.

  3. note to Coach Harbaw:
    you just reshuffle the deck…
    do what needs to be done.
    No excuses this year:
    you have the players you want,
    now bring home the bacon.

    1. Hey AS we clinched, is this blog like your real life? You talk, no one responds. Live at home with your parents. No life, no friends. Sit in front of a computer screen all day. Thinking about your crush #11 and talking trash to anyone that you felt didn’t give him his due respect?

      1. I said it yesterday his parents didn’t even want him he is living in his grandmothers basement. Probably has 3 computers going at the same time: 49ers press democrat blog, Alex Smith fan club president (with 5 members and counting) and porn on the other.

      2. LOL, Bay. Yeah, I have to take this opportunity to say bye to Alex4zero cuz The Duchess doesn’t want me to respond to him any more. She reminded me what Mark Twain said about not arguing with idiots, because a passer by might not be able to tell who is who.

      3. Crabs, I once had a very good time in Mark Twain’s Cabin with a young lady where I believe he wrote his famous: “The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County.” I wonder if he would have approved my version? LOL

      4. Space man – That’s awesome…lol…Hope you brought a rain coat. :)…
        I looked it up, the cabin is located on top of “jackass hill”….Damn, someone should name a beer after this Twain dude.

      5. Crabs, yeah, Jackass Hill is off the highway between the old goldrush town of Colmbia and Sonora. I believe there was once a microbrewery near there that actually did have Jack Ass on tap. Last time the wife and I went there it had closed, though.

      6. Crab
        “It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to open one’s mouth and remove all doubt.”
        I’m pretty sure that’s Lincoln. It is one of my favorite quotes.

      7. While many people attribute the quote to Lincoln, it was Twain.

        Lincoln anticipated this phenomenon when he said “The problem with quotes on the internet is that you can’t always depend on their accuracy.”

    2. We should have kept Alex. He executes the check down effortlessly. He would have checked us down to victory against TB and that defense in much cleaner, more efficient fashion than Kaepernick did yesterday. Alex is a great guy, to boot. He’s nice to the media, he’s got a clean look, and he doesn’t have tattoos. He doesn’t offend my long-held, quaint notions of what a 49er quarterback should look and act like.

      1. The truth comes out at last! “Easier to boot”! It appears we have a little tattoo fear here don’t we? Anyway too late to wish its all done now and we are moving on but I like your new blog name;)

      2. To put it another way: I’m with you, “Alex Smith (x = we clinched…)”–or whatever your name is this week. I miss 2011. I miss the 0-for-13 futility on meaningful 3rd downs in the championship game. I miss the 4 yard completion on 3rd and 8. I miss the taking of multiple sacks for fear of pulling the trigger on a tight throw. I miss the deer-in-the-headlights look against playoff-caliber front sevens. I miss the sheer lack of physical ability to throw the ball more than 15 yards downfield with accuracy. I miss the slippery (small?) hands that made for so many non-contact fumbles. Like you, I bet Harbaugh misses all of that, too.

      3. Yea I miss him too….he was great wasn’t he….lol

        But really it amazes me the amount of people that actually do think Alex is the better QB…yeah he may be better in certain areas at this point….areas that Kap can and will learn and progress at….but Kap’s ceiling is infinitely higher than Alex’s ever was….I’ve been really pleased with his play as of late….nice to see him make progress during the season and at the right time….

        That being said I have a lot of respect for Alex and wish him the best over there in KC….I’m glad he’s doing well

    3. Nope. Couldn’t resist.
      There’s a dingbat named Alex(4zero)
      Who has Alex Smith as his hero
      He’s feeling bereft
      That Alex has left
      So he’s crying into his beer-o

      Alex has done well this year
      Without crying into HIS beer
      The guy is just swell
      And I do wish him well
      But the man just doesn’t play here

      Those of us here by The Bay
      Wish he would just go away
      He thinks he’s a poet
      His posts just don’t show it
      He posts dopey stuff every day

      He’s a fly in our tent
      And a sick syncophant
      Whose emotions are raw
      Cuz he hates Jim Harbaugh
      But maybe he should just go get bent.

  4. Boobie would be fine if he promises not to do the funky chicken at the line of scrimmage. That has been his downfall from the beginning — dancing instead of running…

      1. Yup… his blocking will be no where close to Millers. Dang, this is changing up out whole running scheme.

        Dixon’s wiggle is a liability in the backfield, but may be an advantage after catching passes.

    1. Gore has not been converting on some of the 3rd and 1 calls. Maybe Boobie should get a shot in those situations. I don’t blame Gore but everyone knows it’s coming to him on those plays….Roman’s play calls are too predictable on 3rd or 4th and 1.
      With Boobie at least the defense may look for a Kap QB sneak or a bootleg.

  5. Over the course of this 4 game win streak the 49ers have run the ball only 22 times without a FB, compared to 86 times with.

    1. Feel the same way about “The Druck” Druckenmiller. He’s so good, he even played in other countries after getting cut by the 49ers. International Good!

  6. Bruce Miller was taking up some of the blocking scheme slack from Walker’s departure while VMac was learning the ropes. This is going to hurt.

    Right now I imagine Roman is scouring the playbook for 2-3 TE formations and 3 WR sets. Manningham seems to be performing the great disappearing receiver act. Any word on Patton’s progress?

  7. Put Dixon in there and role ,we use the Te to block a lot anyway. Also (mustard)I haven’t seen Dixon dance in a while and if they throw to him he’s an upgrade in the open field over miller.also we might lose a little in blocking not sure though.hey what if Bobbie tears it up at fb do we try to get apick for him.

    1. Why not give Norris a shot? Perhaps too old 35, and rusty, but I would bring him in, to take a look, if he is not too out of shape. He and Gore worked well together, probably not a receiver. Oh never mind a dumb idea.

  8. Thanks spaceborn forgot about that.still I say give him the brunt of the work he’s been here what 4 years no one you can bring in is going to pick up on offense more than that to make difference

  9. Ouch. This is a big loss. Miller is my favourite player on the team. His blocking in space is as good as it gets.
    Miller isn’t a big stats guy, but this will change the 49′ers game planning come playoffs (which might not be all bad…..). I expect lots more single back sets – I don’t think Dixon or Marecic (is he still with us, I forget?) or VMac can, or will be asked, to do what Miller does. I expect we’ll see more traditional 2 TE sets, and dare I say, some spread with Kaep getting the green light to run, baby, run!

      1. Fully agree, guys. Really good blocker, and he always showed a little something extra when he got the ball. BIG loss. I hope he’s feeling OK physically, and gets back to 100% soon.

  10. I still say give it to Bobbie and see if he steps up.he has every other time lets see what he can do.i know he can get the reviving portion of it done. Blocking we will have to wait and see

    1. During pre-season they had Dixon catch out of the backfield, and he was perfectly fine. I think he’s also faster and more nimble than Miller. He certainly has more spirit. If he can block as well, he might add a new dimension to the offense. I’m sad Miller is down, but, assuming the blocking is as good, I look at the glass as half full.

      1. I’m going to assume Dixon’s blocking is no where near Miller’s at this point. Yes he is more nimble and more of a natural runner but we need a blocker. Maybe if Dixon had a lot of work blocking in the off-season, but he didn’t. Its possible that he could be a natural. I could see him making the transition much like Michael Robinson did for the chickens….but he had an offseason.

      2. Dixon didn’t look bad during the preseason. Harbaugh also just said on his radio show that they will be bringing in someone today.

  11. Maiocco writes that. “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.”

    My concern is that of now using the best tight end in football, VD in blocking schemes and not utilizing him to run and catch like we saw Sunday.

  12. Why are so many spooked about losing Miller? He’s an exceptional FB but next man up needs to man-up that’s all.
    Harbs and Roman will repair things during the scrimmage Monday night.

    1. Crab:

      The 49ers are a power running team that has been using a fullback on 75% of its running plays. Miller was the only true FB on the team. As much as everyone likes Dixon, he’s not a FB, and he doesn’t possess Miller’s skill set. It’s potentially a significant loss.

      1. C Balls – Very good point but I don’t think it’s a game changer….we’ll see…..TBD.
        I love throwin in a HoferFan quote at end…lol

      2. The No. 1 thing is you want to be able to win the game, and we’re going to do whatever we have to do to win the game.
        Mike Singletary

      3. Boy I feel like a fool now for getting excited when mike replaced Nolan! I truly thought he was going to change the team! I was so wrong.

      4. Sometimes you get to a place in life where you feel you’ve made some choices, and maybe they weren’t the right choices, and that it’s all coming to an end.
        Mike Singletary

  13. Minimizing mistakes is huge in postseason football… including pre-snap errors (hello SeAdderal). Now we will have people in less familiar roles at key moments. Whether its Mericic, Dixon, McDonald, Celek or Carrier, the likelihood of mistakes is higher no matter how capable the player.

  14. Thanks George for the stats.dixon is the more nimble of the two and has far more experience running in the open field /receiving.

  15. Dixons’ mental makeup, while conducive to special teams, may or may not be the best fit to take on The Bruces’ responsibilities. Not sure I trust him in that role….

  16. J-Dog
    But it could be interesting lining VD in the backfield with McDonald as tight end and then putting Davis in motion. Could create some real match up problems. He will eat up a linebacker. If they bring in another safety then the Niners can run Frank up the middle. Then later run play action out of that line up.
    Could be fun.

  17. Like your idea 49er42 maybe even with James in there.(razoreater) at this point 4 years in,you have to trust him what else do we keep him for.also you never know he may blow up and just kill it,he has shown signs before

  18. Dixon and LaMichael James should be used more out of the backfield. Even putting James in as an offset FB to run a wheel route or out route. Get him matched up LB’s. Do the same thing with Dixon. It’s time to exploit the match ups we have.

  19. AES says:
    December 16, 2013 at 3:01 pm

    It was in reference to Gabrials49′ comment. I wasn’t taking a dig at you, just showing that some here will use almost any reason to show their dislike of CK.

    But to each his own.

    1. AES:

      Gabriels49′s comment was pure sarcasm. He wasn’t expressing his dislike of Colin Kaepernick. To the contrary, he was expressing disdain for Alex Smith and those who think he is a good QB.

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