The San Francisco 49ers put together a list of seven inactive players each Sunday, and the most talked about thus far has been defensive tackle Tank Carradine. However, another interesting inactive every week has been wide receiver Quinton Patton. There has been some discussion about Patton, but not nearly as much as Tank.
The 49ers second year wide receiver struggled with injuries as a rookie, but when he was healthy, he flashed some intriguing talent. I would have thought that would have been enough to secure a spot on the game-day 46-man active roster, but it has not thus far. Rookie wide receiver Bruce Ellington secured the kick and punt return jobs, which guarantees him active status. Veteran receiver Brandon Lloyd has been a bit more curious an option. He had 22 snaps in Week 1, was inactive in Week 2, and then had 43 snaps in Week 3. The 49ers went with more of a spread out attack, so having an extra receiver in the lineup made sense.
But what to make of Patton? There has not been much discussion about him by the coaching staff. We have a portion of the fan base that is vocal about Patton, but he has sort of fallen by the wayside. Over the summer, there was a lot of talk about how Brandon Lloyd was looking as good as anybody in practice, and had Kap's trust. And yet, through three games, while he is getting a lot of snaps, he has not made much of an impact.
Patton scored a touchdown in each of the 49ers last two preseason games last year, and then had the big catch against the Arizona Cardinals late in the season. Combine that with his decision to fly out to Santa Clara before he technically was allowed to arrive, and it is no surprise the Battlewagon became a "thing". But what is Patton's future with the team? The Lloyd addition would seemingly be a "win-now" type of move, so maybe Patton is groomed to get some kind of opportunity next year? Ideally he would have beaten out Lloyd for playing time this year, but that is just not happening.
What do we make of Quinton Patton, both now and in the future?