From being in the Super Bowl last season and early NFC favorites heading into the 2013 season, the lack of a number one wide receiver is worrying many people with the San Francisco 49ers, who eventually might turn their attention to the free agent market and try to add Austin Collie.
If it wasn’t for injury problems, mostly his knee and concussion issues, Collie would have been a wide receiver picked up much earlier in the offseason. But fact is he played only 1 game last season, starting late because of a preseason hit to the head and rupturing the patellar tendon in his right knee, causing him to miss the rest of the 2012 season.
According to Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee, the 49ers are still patient with their young receiving core. They want to see if A.J. Jenkins, Ricardo Lockette, Quinton Patton, Marlon Moore and Kyle Williams will show them something special during training camp that deserves putting them opposite of Anquan Boldin in the starting formation. There’s also Mario Manningham, but his injury status is unclear, and he might not be ready to play on week 1.
If none of the players mentioned impress during training camp, things will get a little bit more panicky, and the 49ers might turn their attention to Collie, who has only been in the league 4 seasons but has picked up enough injuries to last a lifetime during his four seasons with the Indianapolis Colts, playing fulls seasons in 2009 and 2011, catching a total of 173 passes for 1845 yards so far in his career.
Another change that’s obviously going to happen due to Crabtree’s injury is Vernon Davis getting looked at a lot more by Colin Kaepernick, and probably lining up very differently across the field, probably also as a slot receiver instead of being part of the offensive line, in hope of keeping the 49ers passing game as intact as possible when compared with last season, until Crabtree returns.