Colin Kaepernick and Michael Crabtree seemed to establish instant chemistry when Kapernick took over for the injured Alex Smith last season. Crabtree racked up more than 90 yards in four of the final five games of the season last year and finished with the first 1,000-yard season of his four-year career. Now, he could be in for a long and trying rehab.
According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, Crabtree recently suffered a torn Achilles tendon and is expected to miss roughly six months. Chris Mortensen later confirmed that Crabtree has already undergone surgery. If he misses six months, the 25-year-old would be out until at least November.
Obviously, this is horrible news for the San Francisco 49ers. Crabtree finally broke out in 2012 and emerged as the most reliable receiver on the team. When the Niners traded for Anquan Boldin earlier this offseason, they were looking to add depth to their receiving corps. Now, they will need to either add another piece or look for guys to step up in a big way.
To make matters even more complicated, Niners receivers Mario Manningham and Kyle Williams are both coming off torn ACLs. Boldin was dominant in the playoffs for the Baltimore Ravens last season, but he is hardly the force he once was with the Arizona Cardinals years ago.
Perhaps the only positive we can draw here is that Kaepernick is a dual-threat quarterback. It would be more devastating if a pure pocket passer lost his favorite target, but Kaepernick is capable of making plays in a number of ways. Still, Crabtree was one of the few players on offense that San Francisco can’t afford to lose for a significant period of time. His injury will surely throw a major kink in the team’s offseason plans.