One of the major concerns coming into the 2013-2014 season for the San Francisco 49ers was their lack of depth at wide receiver, with Michael Crabtree and Mario Manningham — their top two receivers — both injured for quite some time.
And boy have they missed them both dearly. Anquan Boldin has shouldered most of the load at wide receiver, racking up 393 yards through five games. But other than him, no other wideout has been nearly as productive. The other receivers getting playing time — Kyle Williams, Jon Baldwin, Marlon Moore and Quinton Patton — have combined for just 112 yards in five games.
As a team, the 49ers rank second to last in the NFL in passing offense, averaging a mere 181.6 yards per game. Without two of his top three targets, quarterback Colin Kaepernick has seen a dip in his numbers as well. It is not a stretch to say that Kaepernick has not looked like himself this season. After an outburst in Week 1 against the Packers, Kaepernick ran the ball just four times in the last two games, and the read-option has been nearly non-existent in the 49ers offense. He completed just six passes last week against the Texans.
As the No. 2 option at wide receiver for the 49ers last season, Manningham caught 42 passes for 449 yards in 12 game before suffering a torn ACL and PCL when attempting to make a catch in a Week 12 blowout loss to the Seahawks. Crabtree had a breakout year last season, surpassing the 1,000-yard receiving threshold. However, he sustained a torn Achilles during practice in the offseason.
With both Manningham and Crabtree on the mend, the 49ers “feel good” about their top three wide receivers once they get healthy, according to Matt Maiocco of CSN. Manningham and Crabtree will join Boldin, hopefully creating an dynamic trio that will make life easier for Kaepernick.