What does Quinton Patton's return mean to the 49ers offense?

Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODA

The 49ers have welcomed Quinton Patton back to practice, as he no longer appears on the injury report. Is it enough to get him active on game day?

Yesterday afternoon, we learned that wide receiver Quinton Patton was not on the 49ers Wednesday practice participation report. Patton made his return to practice last week on a limited basis, but this week, no appearance indicates he is ready to return from his foot injury.

The question now is when we'll see him back in action. We know ak4niner and the General's Bandwagon are ready to get him out there now, but practically speaking, that would appear unlikely for this week. The 49ers welcomed back Michael Crabtree this past week, and his return led to a decrease in work for Mario Manningham. The 49ers have been going with four active receivers, but one of those receivers is Kassim Osgood. While Osgood can fill in at receiver on occasion, he is out there for special teams work.

Will we see Quinton Patton on the field at any point this season? Or will he likely end up a weekly inactive? The difference between Patton and Tank Carradine (or Quinton Dial) is that he had some action in the preseason once his hand healed up. More importantly, he received praise from Colin Kaepernick, who talked about how he "just knows football", "knows how to get open" and "knows how to make plays." Kap is not one to dole out compliments like that, so you know he enjoyed it.

The 49ers are in a tough spot right now with injuries along the offensive line, and at tight end. It'd be nice to see Patton get some time and see what he can do, but it really seems like he is another guy who will have to deal with more of a red-shirt type of season. Does anybody see this differently? well, aside from ak4niner.

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