Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

22 May 2013

Michael Crabtree Tears Achilles in OTAs

Uh-oh. Multiple sources are reporting that Michael Crabtree tore his Achilles tendon in yesterday's OTAs. That's a big loss for the 49ers considering how well Crabtree and Kaepernick clicked after Kaepernick moved into the starting lineup last year. A torn Achilles used to mean you would miss the entire season. Recently, players such as Terrell Suggs have worked their way back to play half a season, albeit not at full strength. We'll have to see if Crabtree is able to do that as well.

Posted by: Aaron Schatz on 22 May 2013

18 comments, Last at 23 May 2013, 6:02pm by theslothook


by Dean :: Wed, 05/22/2013 - 3:27pm

Somewhere Terrell Owens turns to twitter to remind the NFL that he still exists. Sam Elliot reads a voiceover of his message as the tumbleweed trundles past in the dust.

by sundown (not verified) :: Wed, 05/22/2013 - 4:07pm


by theslothook :: Wed, 05/22/2013 - 3:28pm

I was already teetering on the side of pronouncing the seahawks the favorite for the nfc west...this probably makes them now the favorite(in my eyes anyways). Sf still has a wealth of talent and kaep's likely improvement to bolster them into the playoffs anyways. Still, this was one of their best players at one of their weakest positions. Its going to be huge.

by bravehoptoad :: Wed, 05/22/2013 - 3:40pm

WR was a crowded position for the 9ers, particularly since they usually only run with 2. The #3 spot, rarely used, was going to be a source of unpredictable competition between Manningham, Kyle Williams, first-rounder A. J. Jenkins, brand-new fan-favorite Quinton Patton, and Harbaugh's pet Ricardo Lockette.

I wouldn't (before today, anyway) say it's one of their weakest positions. They only need two good WRs, after all. Seems like out of that bunch they should find one to play with Boldin.

They have had crappy luck for the post-season, though. Last year Manningham and Williams were both out, leaving practically no one but Crabtree, Moss, and Jenkins, whose failure to appear already has people bandying the "bust" lable. If everyone's healthy I like their WR corps otherwise.

by Dean :: Wed, 05/22/2013 - 3:44pm

When you're a first round WR and you don't catch a single pass as a rookie, I can understand the bust accusations. He only took the field for 37 snaps, he only got targeted for one pass, and he dropped it. I would agree with you that in a perfect world, he'd have another year before hearing "bust," but there have been much more egregious accusations bandied about.

by bravehoptoad :: Wed, 05/22/2013 - 3:47pm

I'm hoping he develops, because good lord, I don't want to see Randy Moss coming back to the team. Nooooooooooooooo.

by RickD :: Wed, 05/22/2013 - 4:06pm

You're no fun.

by Pottsville Maro... :: Thu, 05/23/2013 - 12:02pm

Robert Meachem didn't see the field as a rookie after being a late 1st round pick - for a team that consistently uses spread formations, no less - and he turned into a halfway decent receiver. Jenkins may not end up being worth the pick he was selected with, but it's way too early to consider him completely useless.

by Karl Cuba :: Wed, 05/22/2013 - 4:23pm

We really need something from Jenkins now, thank the lord we got Boldin.

by theslothook :: Wed, 05/22/2013 - 5:06pm

See...I actually rewatched the ravens sb run. I was less impressed with boldin(who despite making amazing catches) was pretty much blanketed the whole time. When your receiver is needing threaded passes to make his catches, i think that speaks more to the qb than the receiver.

Personally - yes, harbaugh's scheme flexibility is one reason why I don't think crabtree's injury is any kind of deathnail to the offense. That said, I'm not a fan of boldin, manningham and williams are coming off injuries and aj jenkins is a question mark at this point. That really leaves you with vernon davis as the only proven legitimate receiving threat and hes a tight end. It may have been a crowded position, but that doesn't mean it wasn't their weakest area.

by jonnyblazin :: Wed, 05/22/2013 - 6:08pm

Right, Boldin was quite average during the regular season, and his success in the postseason came mostly when he was tightly covered and Flacco threw touch passes away from the DB that allowed Boldin to win the jump ball. I don't know if Kaepernick has that kind of touch, most of his throws seem to be lasers to open WRs and Davis down the field. But he's a talented guy, so maybe he can throw Boldin open.

by bravehoptoad :: Thu, 05/23/2013 - 11:35am

Enh...his whole career, Boldin has been blanketed. That's what he does, catch balls in traffic. I guess I'm concerned that he's always played opposite a really good receiver, Fitzgerald, Smith, and this year he'll start the season the unquestioned #1, something he's never done before.

by Pottsville Maro... :: Thu, 05/23/2013 - 12:05pm

He was the unquestioned #1 receiver as a rookie (before the Cardinals drafted Fitzgerald) and caught 101 passes. And he led the Ravens in receiving yards each of his three years in Baltimore. Maybe Torrey Smith is a better receiver than whoever will be across from Boldin this year, but Boldin was still the #1 target for the Ravens.

by bravehoptoad :: Thu, 05/23/2013 - 4:07pm

Yay! Happy to be corrected about that.

by Karl Cuba :: Thu, 05/23/2013 - 12:18pm

He didn't start the year as the unquestioned number one but he did have 100 catches for 1300 yards in his rookie year before Fitzgerald arrived.

by jonnyblazin :: Thu, 05/23/2013 - 5:17pm

I know Boldin's reputation coming to the Ravens was that he was very good in the open field. He did not display any RAC ability in Baltimore. When he first arrived, he was able to get open vs. 1-on-1 coverage. By his last year he couldn't, but by the playoffs became a jump-ball specialist. He now plays more like a TE than a WR.

He was considered the no. 1 in 2010 with the Ravens but put up almost identical stats to Derrick Mason. In 2011 he was the clear no. 1, as T. Smith was considered a raw 2nd round project WR.

by theslothook :: Thu, 05/23/2013 - 6:02pm

Yeah, this sort of backs up what I've seen of boldin with the ravens. I suspect a big part of the ravens passing inconsistency had as much to do with Boldin and the lack of a true possession/medium depth receiver as it did with flacco. In the post season, that didn't really change other than flacco started to compensate with better throws and great chemistry with pitta(who actually was really good in the postseason run).

by sundown (not verified) :: Wed, 05/22/2013 - 4:12pm

Rough break for all involved. Crabtree had finally hit his stride as a pro. I was already expecting Kaepernick to have at least a bit of a sophomore slump as teams were going to be fully ready for him. Now that looks even more likely.