San Francisco 49ers rookie tight end Vance McDonald missed last week’s game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers with an ankle injury, and it doesn’t sound like the 23-year-old Rice product will be able to play in tomorrow’s NFC South tilt against the Atlanta Falcons. The 49ers are officially listing McDonald as doubtful on their injury report, so he will almost certainly not be on the field on Monday Night Football for the team’s farewell game at Candlestick.
McDonald hasn’t received many snaps in his rookie season, as star tight end Vernon Davis hoards all the snaps and targets. So far this season, McDonald has hauled in eight passes for 119 yards, so he is getting plenty of yards per reception. Garrett Celek will be the 49ers No. 2 tight end in McDonald’s place tomorrow, but it’s going to be even more of a Davis-show for the Niners tomorrow night.
It’s going to be interesting to see how McDonald progresses next offseason, because he looked really good in training camp this year and figures to be a potential impact player at the tight end position down the road. I’m not sure if the 49ers are interested in trying to develop McDonald into a guy who can work perfectly with Davis to form dynamic twin-TE sets, but I am intrigued by that possibility.