49ers roster 2023: Anthony Miller has 1 game to become next Tashaun Gipson-like story

Wild Card Round - Chicago Bears v New Orleans Saints
Wild Card Round - Chicago Bears v New Orleans Saints / Cooper Neill/GettyImages

Wide receiver Anthony Miller seems like a throwaway addition to the roster, but safety Tashaun Gipson turned a similar situation in 2022 into a starting role and a contract extension.

The San Francisco 49ers sprung an interesting roster move coming into the final preseason game before 2023 kicks off proper, signing former second-round pick Anthony Miller to reinforce the wide receiver group.

While this seems like a nothing move and Miller is destined to essentially be a one-game cameo in the preseason before being let go, there are some interesting factors that could make one think back to safety Tashaun Gipson and how he started his tenure at San Francisco.

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Like Miller, Gipson was signed late in the preseason to provide cover for an injured positional group. Also, like Miller, Gipson was seen as a veteran journeyman who was roster cover only and not to be a vital cog during the season.

Of course, we all know how the season went. Gipson started in Week 1 and never let go of the position, moving now-Houston Texan Jimmie Ward to slot corner when the latter came back from injury, Gipson was rewarded by being given a contract extension to help anchor the secondary for at least one more season.

It isn't unimaginable that Miller could find himself contributing in 2023, too, if he makes the right impression. There's a bit of a gap right now at the fourth wide receiver role with incumbent Ray-Ray McCloud currently out with a broken wrist.

There's no obvious replacement either. Danny Gray has not impressed, and seventh-round rookie Ronnie Bell combines exciting flashes of brilliance with frustrating drops. The rest of the receiving corps are just camp bodies that are unlikely to make the roster.

Miller has not featured in the NFL since 2021 where he played two games for the Texans before being released, and playing one more game with the Pittsburgh Steelers. He last featured significantly in the NFL in 2020, where he had a respectable 49 receptions for 485 yards and touchdowns for the Chicago Bears.

While Miller isn't likely to burst onto the scene as a big contributor, if he can find some momentum in the practices and then have a strong preseason game against the Los Angeles Chargers, at the very least he will be in consideration for a roster spot given the current state of the wide receivers beyond the starters.

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