On the week when the San Francisco 49ers took on the Tennessee Titans, wide receiver Mario Manningham was activated from the physically unable to perform (PUP) list. Manningham will see his first action of the 2013 season as the Carolina Panthers come to visit the 49ers in a Week 10 matchup that will also mark the start of the second half of the 49ers’ season.
The return of Manningham for the 49ers and in particular, the 49ers’ offense, will give them a huge boost as they seek to improve upon what they have developed during the five game winning streak before the bye week. So what exactly is it that Manningham will bring to the 49ers offense with his return to playing? In short, Manningham will serve as another viable pass catching option which Colin Kaepernick can rely on and throw to when dropping back to pass.
In the 49ers’ first eight games of the season, Kaepernick only had two guys whom he could trust and rely upon knowing they would very likely catch the football when he threw it to them and they are Anquan Boldin and Vernon Davis, coincidentally enough the two leading receivers in catches and passing yards. With Manningham returning, this now means we can add a third player whom Kaepernick can now look to and trust will catch the ball if he throws it into him.
In addition, Manningham will help the play and production of the other receivers on the team. With Manningham on the field, Boldin and Davis will no longer face as many double team coverage or any at all going forward, and even less so when Michael Crabtree makes his return sometime soon. The other thing that Manningham’s brings is an additional deep threat that will open underneath routes for Boldin, Davis, and even players like Vance McDonald and Kyle Williams.