Boldin Emerges As Top Kaepernick Target, Foster Injures Calf

NFL teams are beginning to gather for OTAs and during this time, it’s not uncommon to see players go down with injuries. Unfortunately it can happen to any player–yes, even a team’s star–placing a sense of early panic on teams for the upcoming season.

Let’s take a look at two recent injuries and how teams will cope.

Last week, San Francisco 49ers fans learned wide receiver Michael Crabtree went down with an Achilles tendon injury at OTAs. Questions swirled who would fill his shoes in the interim as he could be out for at least six months.

Anquan Boldin

Anquan Boldin

Fast forward a week later and it appears that veteran receiver Anquan Boldin may be the answer. On Tuesday, he filled in nicely during the team’s practice as he served as 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s target of the day, grabbing passes thrown his way.

Boldin also showed the love for passes by the team’s other quarterbacks including B.J. Daniels, Colt McCoy, Scott Tolzien. For the practice, it was an eight-catch day, including a touchdown.

49ers coach Jim Harbaugh said of the receiver via the San Jose Mercury News.com, “He’s really picked up the system fast, and is making plays and big catches in tight areas. You saw what we’ve been seeing for a couple weeks now.”

Harbaugh added that Boldin will be the team’s starting “flanker receiver,” while green players will complete for the starting role at “split end” receiver.

For Boldin, starting shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise as he is in his 11th NFL season; he was most recently with the Super Bowl-winning Baltimore Ravens from 2010 to 2012. In this year’s Super Bowl, he had six catches for 104 yards, including a touchdown that gave the Ravens a 7-0 lead in their 34-31 win vs. the 49ers.

Will third time be the charm for Boldin?

The team will count on him as it enters the season with high expectations. The 49ers sit at 11 1/2 games for its 2013 regular season win total (-105 o, -125 u) and for a Super Bowl win, 6 to 1.

Foster Carted Away from Calf Injury

Texans WR Arian Foster

Texans WR Arian Foster

In another story of a leading player already hit by the injury bug, the Houston Texans watched star running back Arian Foster get carted off the field on Tuesday with a strain to his right calf at the team’s OTAs.

The injury came as Foster went down on the first play during the practice. How he was injured isn’t certain but more will be learned after Foster visits a doctor. For now he’s considered day-to-day for the team’s two remaining OTAs this week.

This comes as Foster rushed for a career-high 351 carries for 1,424 yards (4.1 yard average per carry) and 17 touchdowns (second highest of his career) in the 2012 season.

While he doesn’t have a medical degree, it didn’t stop Foster’s teammate wide receiver Andre Johnson from giving his opinion on Tuesday regarding the injury. Johnson saw the running back limping on the field but doesn’t think it’s a significant injury.

He said via the team’s website, “I don’t think it’s anything serious where anybody should be worried or something like that. I think if it was, he would’ve said something. You can tell when it’s something serious. I’ve been around it long enough. So, I’m sure he’ll be fine. Just give him a little rest; he’ll be back out there.”

Should Foster be out for some time look for fellow back Ben Tate to step up if he’s recovered from his 2012 hamstring injury.

It was a disappointing season for the player as he only saw action in 11 regular season games, wracking up a disappointing 65 carries for 279 yards with two touchdowns.

There’s also Deji Karim as well as some undrafted players who could see more playing time depending on the extent of Foster’s absence.

For the Texans, they enter the season with 10 1/2 regular season win total (-115 o/u) and 18 to 1 odds to win the 2014 Super Bowl.

 

  • 100%