The San Francisco 49ers look ready to welcome back wide receiver Michael Crabtree when they host the St. Louis Rams on Sunday. Head coach Jim Harbaugh informed the media that it looked like all systems were go for Sunday. We'll know for certain 90 minutes before the game, but in the meantime, this seems as good a sign as any that we'll see Crabtree in action.
In advance of this game, the 49ers released their latest depth chart. The depth chart is a PR-issued device that does not provide any sort of concrete information, but I do find it at least a little bit interesting to consider. For this week, the wide receivers were listed as follows:
WR: Anquan Boldin, Jon Baldwin, Quinton Patton
WR: Mario Manningham, Michael Crabtree, Kassim Osgood
Assuming Crabtree is good to go, it remains to be seen where exactly he will fit in for this first game back. I don't think we see him getting top-level snaps, but I also don't think he gets five or six snaps and calls it a day.
When Mario Manningham made his return to action, he played 42 snaps right off the bat. There are a couple things worth noting for Manningham. First off, he had a longer period to recover from his torn knee ligaments. Second, in his first game back, the 49ers lost Vernon Davis and Garrett Celek to injuries. The team had to adjust its personnel on the fly, so Manningham was looking at more work.
The 49ers have averaged just over 60 offensive snaps per game, averaging 56 snaps in the three games since the bye. If they get around that many offensive snaps against the Rams, how many will Crabtree see? We could make predictions about how many receptions and yards he'll accrue, but I think for the purposes of this first game, the snap count is what matters.
I think the over/under on snaps is probably around 22. I'd guess just a touch over that, and will say 24 snaps. How many snaps do you see Crabtree playing on Sunday? A lot more than that? A little less than that?