Tukuafu undergoes MRI, Harbaugh encouraged

Harbaugh talks Tukuafu injury, McDonald at FB, making NFL history

Tukuafu undergoes MRI, Harbaugh encouraged
January 13, 2014, 1:00 pm
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Backup fullback Anthony Dixon played 22 snaps in place of Will Tukuafu, while No. 2 tight end Vance McDonald filled in with 19 snaps in the backfield. (AP)

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SANTA CLARA – Fullback Will Tukuafu underwent an MRI examination on his left knee Monday morning and his status for Sunday’s NFC Championship Game remains unclear.

“(I’m) encouraged with how he’s moving around,” 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh said.

Tukuafu started but played just three snaps in the 49ers’ 23-10 victory over the Carolina Panthers before sustaining the injury. He did not return to action.

Backup fullback Anthony Dixon played 22 snaps at fullback while No. 2 tight end Vance McDonald filled in with 19 snaps in the backfield, according to Pro Football Focus.

“I thought he blocked very well yesterday,” Harbaugh said of McDonald. “He had many more opportunities in that role.”

The 49ers will monitor Tukuafu's status throughout the week. The first practice is scheduled for Wednesday afternoon as the 49ers prepare to face the Seattle Seahawks in the NFC Championship.