The San Francisco 49ers are dealing with injury issues at tight end, and it turns out that impacted the team's offensive line rotation. Jim Tomsula met with the media on Wednesday and said the team had initially planned on getting Daniel Kilgore some reps at center in Week 13. However, after Vance McDonald suffered a concussion, the coaching staff decided to just use him as the extra blocking tight end.
The 49ers face the Cleveland Browns this weekend, and Tomsula's comments would seem to indicate we can expect to see Kilgore get some snaps at center. Part of that will depend on how exactly the 49ers address the tight end position. Vance McDonald is currently in the concussion protocol, leaving Blake Bell as the only healthy tight end on the 53-man roster. Tight ends Jamie Childers and Brian Leonhardt are on the practice squad, and can be activated anytime between now and 1 p.m. PT on Saturday.
The team did not sign any other tight ends, so if McDonald does not pass through the protocol, the team will promote one or both of the practice squad tight ends. If McDonald does clear the protocol, it is entirely possible they still activate one of the two practice squad tight ends. The 49ers release their first practice participation report Wednesday afternoon, and I suspect we see McDonald listed as a DNP. If that's the case, the Thursday and Friday reports will tell us a lot about what the team expects for Sunday.