SANTA CLARA -- A day after David Akers' latest painful miss, Jim Harbaugh expressed optimism that the veteran kicker would return to his reliable form.
The 49ers coach said he expected Akers to be his kicker this Sunday against the Miami Dolphins at Candlestick Park.
"I do,'' Harbaugh said Monday. "We'll see what his health status is this week, but all indications are (he'll play)."
Akers missed a 51-yard attempt in overtime against St. Louis on Sunday. The kick drifted right, and the Rams capitalized minutes later when rookie Greg Zuerlein drilled the winner from 54 yards out.
Akers declined to make excuses for the miss, but he was on the injury report last week with a pelvis injury. With his status in doubt, the 49ers brought veterans Nate Kaeding and Billy Cundiff in for a tryout.
Harbaugh said Monday that Akers is close to turning the corner.
"He's working through something, but he's kicked well in practice,'' he said. "He's kicked well in game. I thought the one that he hit in (overtime) was well hit. It just didn't go in."
Akers is only 1 of 5 from beyond 50 yards this season. Overall, he has missed nine of his past 24 attempts.
"He takes responsibility and knows it's his job to put it through the uprights,'' Harbaugh said. "As far as his mindset, it's as a pro."