The 49ers placed FB Bruce Miller on the Injured Reserve List on Wednesday, creating a void in the offense. Heading into the final regular season game at Candlestick Park, Miller’s backup — Anthony Dixon — will likely get the start at fullback against the Atlanta Falcons.
Dixon would be the best choice to start at fullback because of his blocking skills and experience. In four seasons in San Francisco as a running back and fullback, Dixon has rushed 146 times for 463 yards (3.2 yards per carry) and eight touchdowns. However, he will not be a full replacement because he cannot match Miller’s threat as a receiver in the offense.
Jim Harbaugh all but confirmed early this week Dixon would be the man at fullback for the 49ers:
Anthony Dixon will step up and do a great job as he has been doing in that backup fullback role. I know there were times he’d like to be running the ball more, but never a complaint about that and you never have to worry about A.D.’s effort. Look forward to watching him compete.
Don’t be surprised if you see a tight end, offensive lineman or defensive lineman in at fullback. I doubt Harbaugh will go with a committee approach, but the 49ers have succeeded in short-yardage situations by using bigger fullbacks to plow a running lane for Frank Gore and company. San Francisco also signed FB Will Tukuafu to a two-year deal to add depth at the position.
Dixon said he is ready for the chance to start at fullback:
I’m pretty comfortable with it. I’ve been playing it two years now. I’ve been in this offense two years. I’m ready.