I woke up this morning in Australia to some of the worst news we could have received. Michael Crabtree has torn his achilles tendon and is out around 6 months. Doing the math shows that he could come back late in the year. Terrell Suggs suffered a similar injury and came back in time to be a non-factor in Baltimore's run to the title. It's going to take a minor miracle for him to produce anything of value this year.
Talking value to the team, and there are few players whose absence would have a bigger impact. Colin Kaepernick, of course, sits atop the pack, even more so with the trade of Alex Smith. Aldon Smith and Justin Smith could be argued to have more value to the team. But even the likes of Patrick Willis and Frank Gore, if they missed time, can be replaced due to depth at their position and other capable fill-ins. That's just not the case at wide receiver.
I've seen a fair bit of optimism on Twitter and around the web. Examining the position group leaves us with a lot of question marks and an instant and absolute need for growth and production from some younger players who have yet to do much. Anquan Boldin is a solid No. 2 receiver who will now be the No. 1. The only guy on the roster who qualifies as a No. 3 receiver is Mario Manningham but he's slow to recover from his own leg injury suffered late last year. Kyle Williams was an average No. 4 receiver who is also recovering from injury. A.J. Jenkins had no success last year as a No. 5 receiver in his rookie campaign. And Quinton Patton is a rookie. Each of the last two will need to step up more than previously anticipated.
Another option for step-up-ness in the passing game is Vernon Davis. A return to being the number one option in the passing game from VD seems like the easiest route to passing success. We have a lot of weapons in our offensive arsenal so it's not the end of the world, but we've lost the biggest threat we've had in the passing game in the last decade right after his arrival on the big stage. To the links...
And...sorry they're late and a bit unsorted. I was running late from work, but with the quantity of links and the magnitude of the days news, I felt it was important to get them all up, even if late....OK...now to the links.
Michael Crabtree's Injury
Crabtree's season doomed (PFT)
How it Affects 49ers
What do the 49ers do without Michael Crabtree? (Mercury News)
Replacing Crabtree is not a one man job (Maiocco)
Moving on from Michael Crabtree (49erswebzone)
Six ramifications from Crabtree's injury (SF Gate)
Ramifications of Crab's Injury
Speculation About Replacements
49ers OTA notes: Day 2 (Gin)
Matt Maiocco's chat transcript (5.22.13) (Maiocco)
Coach's notebook: May 22 (49ers.com)
Colt McCoy shines at 49ers OTAs (49ers.com)
Being a Sheep
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