San Francisco 49ers' Season Hinges on Return of Michael Crabtree

By Greg Douglas
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

After a career year last season, Michael Crabtree suffered a torn Achilles tendon in the offseason. Crabtree recorded 85 receptions for 1,105 yards and nine touchdowns last season, and the majority of his success came with quarterback Colin Kaepernick under center. Crabtree and Kaepernick developed a good rapport last season which propelled the San Francisco 49ers to a Super Bowl appearance, but will the chemistry still be there when Crabtree returns?

Crabtree provided depth to the 49ers receiving corps and served as Kaepernick’s go-to guy, but in Crabtree’s absence Kaepernick has struggled to replicate the staggering numbers he posted last season. The 49ers offense has been chaotic and somewhat vanilla this season without Crabtree, but his return should put an end to Kaepernick’s woes and provide a spark to an anemic offense. The re-emergence of the former Texas Tech standout should also bolster veteran wide receiver Anquan Boldin‘s production. With Crabtree sidelined, Boldin has been subdued due to coverage schemes focused on stopping him.

After a long rehab process, Crabtree is expected to be activated from the physically unable to perform (PUP) list as soon as today. Coach Jim Harbaugh stated “Crabtree’s coming back this week, and hopefully, we get a few other guys back.” The good news is that Crabtree intends to play Sunday, but how long will it take him to return to his dominant form of last season?

Crabtree is instrumental in the 49ers offense, but will his return be enough to put the 49ers back in the driver’s seat in the NFC? The 49ers had championship aspirations before the season, and the return of Crabtree could turn those dreams into a reality.

Greg Douglas is an NFL writer for Follow him on twitter @thegpd93 , like him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.

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