Harbaugh, Gore express confidence in Dixon

Harbaugh: 'Anthony Dixon will step up and do a great job'

Harbaugh, Gore express confidence in Dixon
December 19, 2013, 1:30 pm
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Anthony Dixon will step up and do a great job, as he has been doing in that backup fullback role.
Jim Harbaugh

SANTA CLARA – Coach Jim Harbaugh said Thursday he would like to see Anthony Dixon step into the fullback role and keep the rest of the offense unchanged.

“Anthony Dixon will step up and do a great job, as he has been doing in that backup fullback role,” Harbaugh said.

Dixon is being pressed into service after starter Bruce Miller sustained a fractured scapula (shoulder blade) in the fourth quarter of the 49ers’ victory Sunday against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

[RELATED: Dixon first in line to replace injured Miller]

Miller played nearly 60 percent of the 49ers’ offensive snaps this season. In addition to being a lead-blocker for 1,000-yard rusher Frank Gore, Miller was also the 49ers’ third-leading receiver with 25 catches for 243 yards.

“It’s a big loss,” Gore said. “Bruce is a very smart player. He does a lot of great things, catching the ball, blocking. But you know how the game is. Our other guy has to step up. Anthony Dixon is a similar player. He can catch. (He's) athletic. I know he’ll block, too.

“I think A.D. will do a great job and I know (running backs coach) Tom Rathman will do a great job getting him ready.”

The 49ers this week re-signed defensive lineman/fullback Will Tukuafu upon placing Miller on season-ending injured reserve. Tukuafu will concentrate on fullback, but it’s uncertain whether he will have a role on game days.

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