Davis has just five catches for 56 yards in San Francisco's five games since then.
The Niners figure to get Davis more involved when he does return with Manningham joining backup receiver Kyle Williams on injured reserve. Davis was San Francisco's top receiving weapon in the playoffs last season, when he caught 10 passes for 292 yards and four touchdowns in two games as the 49ers reached the NFC championship game.
"You're definitely right that I want to contribute in that way," Davis said. "My time will come when I'm getting more balls."
If that time isn't Sunday, and Davis is unable to play against the Cardinals for the first time this season, the 49ers likely will give more playing time to their two backup tight ends, Delanie Walker and undrafted rookie Garrett Celek.
With Davis on the sideline last week, Walker had a season-high four receptions for 54 yards and Celek had a career-high two catches for 41 yards — Celek's first receptions in nine games.
"My job every week is to prove I can play and be the No. 1 tight end," Walker said. "With Vernon down, it just gives me more opportunity to get the ball. I'll take Vernon's (position), and when we go with two tight ends, (Celek) will take Vernon's and I'll do the same role I usually do."
Offensive coordinator Greg Roman — who since late November has lost three of his regular contributors in Manningham, Williams and running back Kendall Hunter — is prepared to get his other tight ends involved if Davis is held out against the Cardinals.
"They'll probably split different things," Roman said. "Delanie is such a valuable asset as the (No. 1) tight end and also as the second tight end. He can do both and does do both at times. You can build a lot of different formations with him and do a lot of things. It will definitely be a mix and match."