Both Vernon Davis and Vance McDonald are inactive for today’s game against the Cardinals, which will give Derek Carrier, who had his first-ever NFL catch last week, his first-ever NFL start this week.
Carrier and Asante Cleveland, who was brought up from the practice squad Saturday, are the 49ers’ only healthy tight ends. That likely means a bigger role for fullback Bruce Miller and for the 49ers’ extra offensive linemen, who could be brought in to play tight end in blocking situations.
Long-snapper Kyle Nelson also could be tapped to play the position if the 49ers suffer further injuries.
In two meetings against the Cardinals last year, Davis had 11 catches for 225 yards and three touchdowns.
Also out for the 49ers are starters Tramaine Brock (toe) and Anthony Davis (hamstring). Perrish Cox and Jonathan Martin are expected to start again at cornerback and right tackle.
For the Cardinals, quarterback Carson Palmer won’t play due to a nerve issue in his throwing shoulder. Drew Stanton will start instead, the fifth time in the last seven meetings between the teams that San Francisco will face the Cardinals’ backup passer.
CB Tramaine Brock
T Anthony Davis
TE Vernon Davis
C Marcus Martin
TE Vance McDonald
WR Quinton Patton
DL Tank Carradine
QB Carson Palmer
P Dave Zastudil
LB Victor Butler
LB Glenn Carson
LB Alex Okafor
NT Alameda Ta’amu
TE Rob Housler
Read Matt Barrows’ blogs and archives at www.sacbee.com/sf49ers .