49ers' Michael Crabtree tears Achilles at OTAs
Crabtree posted career highs in receptions (85), yards (1,105), and touchdowns (9) during his fantastic fourth season. He was even better once Colin Kaepernick took over behind center - during the final five games of the season (Kaepernick's third-through-seventh starts), Crabtree averaged 7.0 catches for 107.6 yards, scoring four touchdowns during that span.
Crabtree had his sights set on an even better season in 2013, as he would have Kaepernick as his quarterback for the entire offseason and all 16 games. However, Crabtree will now have to put that full season with Kaepernick on hold. USA Today reported Wednesday that Crabtree suffered a torn Achilles tendon during OTAs on Tuesday.
It's devastating news for a receiver who was really finding his groove in the NFL, and also a crushing blow to a Super Bowl hopeful team that just lost their leading receiver. Terrell Suggs and Da'Quan Bowers both tore their Achilles last offseason and were able to make it back before season's end, so Crabtree is not ruled out for the entire 2013 campaign. However, neither of the aforementioned players ever seemed to be at full strength during 2012.
The 49ers are now even happier that they traded for Anquan Boldin, who will slide into the No. 1 receiver role. 2012 first-round pick AJ Jenkins is the frontrunner to earn starting duties opposite of Boldin, though he only played in three games last season and didn't catch a pass. Quinton Patton - the 49ers' fourth-round pick in last month's draft - will make a push for the No. 2 job, but will likely end up as the third receiver.
From a fantasy standpoint, Kaepernick's stock takes a minor hit, while running back Frank Gore's gets a small boost. With a proven running game and inexperienced wide receivers, the 49ers will probably not rely on the pass as much as they had planned. Jenkins and/or Patton will be worth grabbing in fantasy drafts, depending on how things shake out in the preseason.