During the San Francisco 49ers organized team activities (OTAs), minicamps, and training camp, one player who caught the eye and impressed was rookie wide receiver Quinton Patton. Even before he arrived to the team facilities for his first work with teammates, Patton impressed everyone with his eagerness to want to go to work immediately to win a spot on the roster.
In training camp, Patton was slowed down for a few weeks because of a broken finger he sustained, but once he came back and got the opportunity to play in the last two preseason games, Patton showed himself to be a capable wide receiver as he scored two touchdowns in those games. Fast forward to the regular season and so far in the first two games, Patton has seen more time as a special teams player than he has as a wide receiver.
After the 49ers loss on Sunday night to the Seattle Seahawks where the San Francisco wide receivers combined for six receptions for 52 yards, the Week 3 game against the Indianapolis Colts offers the 49ers a chance to get their wide receiving corps going again. With that in mind, the game against the Colts provides the most opportune game for Patton to get more playing time and prove he can be a reliable contributor for Jim Harbaugh moving forward in the season.
One of the issues that the 49ers’ offense faced in what was an ineffective and awful performance against the Seahawks was an inability of the wide receivers to be able to be able to get open and create enough separation from the Seahawks’ secondary to be able to make catches. This should not be an issue against the Colts, and giving Patton more time at the wide receiver position would give the 49ers’ offense a chance to establish another wide receiver whom opposing defenses should not dismiss as a potential non-threat when out running pass routes.
The fact of the matter is that Patton showed to be a good route runner in the preseason and possess good hands at the moment of catching a football. There has been no reason to suspect that he isn’t worthy of getting the chance to show he can do what he did in preseason now in the regular season given that he has been active in the first two games. Throw in the fact that Vernon Davis might be limited as a result of a hamstring injury and giving Patton more playing time at wide receiver only becomes logical.