San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick was already expected to continue his rapid maturation into the 2013 NFL season, but now the need for his ascension grows even more critical after the Achilles injury to Michael Crabtree. The veteran receiver finally removed his bust label and became Kaepernick’s top target down the stretch last season, and his offseason injury — expected to takeaway most of his 2013 campaign — is causing ripple effects in Vegas.
I’ve seen the 49ers division title odds up around -150 pre-injury with the NFC West rival Seattle Seahawks lingering behind at around +150, but since it’s been adjusted down to -125 for San Fran and +125 for Seattle. So there is a Crabtree Effect.
Niners head coach and offensive mastermind Jim Harbaugh has plenty of weapons at his disposal to get him by in the meantime and certainly can’t be ruled out even if Crabtree never comes back close to 100 percent this season. If Kaepernick continues to make smart decisions in the pocket while ripping teams apart with his legs, then 11.5 season win total and 5- or 6-to-1 Super Bowl odds remain decent options.
Terrell Suggs, who battled through the same offseason injury before the Baltimore Ravens went on to beat San Fran in the Super Bowl, offered his advice on coming back from an Achilles.
“I can’t tell you for sure what [Crabtree] should expect when he comes back because it’s different for players at different positions,” said Suggs, via CBS Sports. “For me, my explosion didn’t really get there until the end of the season. So, my guess is that he wouldn’t be Michael Crabtree right off the bat.”
Disclaimer: This article is meant only to stimulate discussion about the 2013 NFL season, not provide any sort of advice.