According to league sources, San Francisco 49ers wideout Michael Crabtree suffered a torn Achilles during organized team activities. He will reportedly undergo season-ending surgery as soon as possible.
Last season, Crabtree enjoyed a career year notching, 1,105 receiving yards to go along with nine touchdowns. The injury comes at a very inopportune time as expectations were high for he and quarterback Colin Kaepernick. After three years of under-performing, the 25-year-old receiver was starting to come into his own.
Should Crabtree miss a majority of the upcoming season, or perhaps all of it, the 49ers will need to lean heavily on a host of young, unproven receivers. The team traded for Anquan Boldin during the offseason, but after him, the roles become a bit murky.
A.J. Jenkins was taken in the first round of last year’s NFL draft, but has yet to make an impact for his club. Quinton Patton shows a lot of promise but is just a rookie. Behind them on the depth chart, veterans Ricardo Lockette, Marlon Moore and Chad Hall have just three combined starts.
Whether San Francisco goes out and sign a proven veteran or stick with their current group is yet to be seen. No matter the path they choose, replacing Crabtree is no easy feat.
This news is tough to take for 49er fans, but the next man has to step up. Given the unpredictable nature of the sport, all backups need to be ready on a moment’s notice.
Each team has its share of obstacles that it must overcome. It’s just unfortunate that one had to come this early for the Red and Gold.