Home » Blog » San Francisco’s Michael Crabtree suffers torn Achilles

San Francisco’s Michael Crabtree suffers torn Achilles

The San Francisco 49ers received bad news Wednesday when wide receiver Michael Crabtree suffered a torn Achilles tendon. The first thought of most was that Crabtree would miss the entire 2013-14 season, but Coach Jim Harbaugh believes the top 49ers receiver will return before the season is over.

It is only mid May, but the pressure is already building for 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick. He will have to make a huge adjustment not having Crabtree in the lineup.

During the latter part of last season, Kaepernick relied on Crabtree for much of his passing game. Kaepernick started 10 games and targeted Crabtree 92 times in those 10 games compared to just 39 times apiece to Randy Moss and Vernon Davis.

Under Kaepernick, Crabtree finally was in the spotlight and emerged as one of the best receivers in the NFL. He showed very good hands and an ability to run after the catch. Over the last eight games of the regular season and the postseason, Crabtree grabbed an average of 7 passes for 103 yards. He averaged nearly one touchdown per game over that span as well. If you project that out to a full 16-game season, Crabtree would catch 96 receptions for 1,382 yards, with 13 touchdowns.

The important thing now is what the 49ers are going to do without Crabtree at one wide out. The 49ers will have Kyle Williams and Mario Manningham back, but both are returning from torn anterior cruciate injuries and that makes the depth chart for the 49ers very shallow.

The offseason trade to acquire Adquan Boldin now looks all the more important. Boldin had an exception postseason last season for the Ravens and can win balls with his physicality, but he is no longer young and has struggled to free himself from coverage.

Vernon Davis will become a key receiver and Kaepernick must get used to throwing to him, as he will be the deep threat now for the 49ers.

The 49ers also have A.J. Jenkins their first round pick in the 2012 draft and Quinton Patton their fourth round pick in the recent 2013 NFL Draft. However, odds are neither of the two can join Boldin and Davis in the starting lineup.

There must be thoughts of asking Randy Moss or even Braylon Edwards to return. They know the playbook and will have time to get back into playing shape before the season begins. The free agent market is sparse at best, so the 49ers will most likely not look there.

If a trade was worked out, the 49ers have a big supply of draft picks to offer to pick up a reliable wide out.

Regardless of how the 49ers replace the injured Crabtree his absence will affect the team and be felt mostly by quarterback Kaepernick. However, with the running talent of Kaepernick and the ingenuity of the 49ers coaching staff, they will certainly find ways to win without Crabtree.

  • 100%