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Vernon Davis limping through the locker room, questions abound

The San Francisco 49ers tight end depth remains a question mark, as Vernon Davis was seen limping heavily through the locker room. Does this mean he might not play, or is he sand-bagging a little bit?

Ezra Shaw

The San Francisco 49ers are back to practice today, and Vernon Davis's ankle is apparently looking kind of rough. According to the beat writers, Davis walked through the locker room without his crutches, but with a serious limp.

Head coach Jim Harbaugh said the 49ers dodged a bullet with Davis's ankle, but if the limp is serious, it could mean a significant enough ankle sprain that he misses Week 3. I say "if the limp is serious", because there is always the possibility Vernon is sand-bagging a little bit. Odds are pretty good that his ankle is in fact hurt, but after Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery played on Sunday following no practice during the week, it is reasonable to be suspicious..

That being said, follow me on this. Vernon fancies himself a bit of an actor (Captain Torpedo). Given that and the 49ers penchant for keeping cards close to their vest, would it be at all shocking if Vernon was listed as questionable, but then looked fine this Sunday? I think the odds of that being the case are pretty slim, but nothing would surprise me. I've already discussed how the Cardinals could be doing something with Carson Palmer. I don't think the chances are significant that either is the case, but crazier things have happened.

If Vernon can't play, Vance McDonald moves into the No. 1 tight end role. Of course, he is dealing with a knee issue, so who knows if he'll be playing either. Even if both play, Derek Carrier figures to see a sizable amount of playing time on Sunday. If Davis and/or McDonald are unable to play on Sunday, Asante Cleveland and/or Xavier Grimble could find themselves active.

The earliest we'll probably know anything with real certainty is Saturday, if the 49ers promote Cleveland or Grimble off the practice squad. If neither is activated, then it would seem likely that at least one of Davis or McDonald will be active. Remember, Kyle Nelson can also play tight end, so he could serve in an emergency role.