On Monday the 49ers announced that wide receiver Mario Manningham had been activated off the PUP list after resuming practice a few weeks ago. We might expect to see him on the field as early as this week against the Carolina Panthers, in fact.
It's been nearly a year since Manningham (or 'Ham as I like to call him) has played a game for the 49ers, so we thought we'd recap his performance in 2012 and try to get a feel for what he might produce for the team going forward in 2013.
Manningham was having a decent season for the 49ers last year before tearing multiple ligaments in his knee. In 12 games he amassed 449 yards receiving on 42 receptions, averaging 10.7 yards per catch. That last number is good enough for a first down almost every time, and moving the chains is the staple of this offense (a non-surprising fact).
That works out to 3.5 receptions per game, which is more than any receiver not named "Anquan Boldin" has had through the first-half of the 2013 season. Manningham's 37.4 yards per game would also be welcome. He added 64 yards rushing on 3 carries, too, good for a 21.3 YPC average. His two fumbles are a slight concern, but I recall that at least one of them happened near the sideline and possession wasn't lost.
To put into perspective just how sorely his production has been missed, consider that no one besides Vernon Davis or Boldin are averaging even 20 yards per game or more than 1.7 receptions per game. The top receiver other than the two aforementioned is Bruce Miller...the fullback.
The 49ers also announced on Tuesday that fellow receiver Michael Crabtree has been cleared to begin practicing, starting the 21 day clock on deciding if he will return in 2013 or be shut-down until next year. I anticipate he will play sooner than later, possibly against the Rams on December 1st.
The team seems poised to be at it's healthiest entering the stretch and in-turn, the post-season. Let's pray to the roster-gods that they continue to show the 49ers favor.