The NFL’s Twitter page reports that 49ers Wide Receiver Michael Crabtree suffered a torn Achilles Tendon and could miss the entirety of this season as a result. The injury occurred while Crabtree was participating in an Organized Team Activity (OTA) at the team’s facilities Tuesday. This is a big blow to a team that is expected to be a Super Bowl contender, but isn’t extremely deep at the wide out position.
A torn Achilles is a major injury for an athlete, requiring surgery and a time consuming recovery. This is the same injury which derailed Kobe Bryant’s season this year after he rallied his men back to qualify for the playoffs. The severity of the tear in the Achilles is not yet known, however any tear in the bodies strongest tendon is significant. The Achilles connects your calf muscle to your heel bones. An athlete suffering this ailment typically misses the next season, and the effects of the injury can linger on for years after he is back playing. Explosiveness, power, speed, and even range of motion can be reduced as a result of this injury, all qualities that a wide receiver needs in order to succeed at the NFL level.
The NFL has already had one Superman emerge from a devastating injury to thrive the following year. Adrian Peterson came back from a horrifically torn knee to dominate defenses and literally carry his team to the playoffs last year. He proved that it is possible to overcome an injury that is supposed to derail your career and come back better than ever, falling just nine yards shy of the all time record for yards in a season.
This was not the time for Michael Crabtree to have to miss a season. The 25 year old wide receiver is coming off his best season as a pro. Not only did the Texas Tech product eclipse the 1000 yard mark for the first time with 1105 yards, he also posted a career best for touchdowns in a season (9), catches (85), and first downs (57) per ESPN. He came through in a big way, aiding the development of quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who took over for Alex Smith midway through the season. For the first time in his five years as a pro he looked like the impact player he was expected to be after being a high profile draft pick out of Texas Tech.
The 49ers are expected to contend for a Super Bowl title this year, and are the favorites to win the NFC going into the season. However there wide receiving corps just lost its best player and they have a young quarterback at the helm. Despite the acquisition of Anquan Boldin, this is still an unproven group of receivers. Mario Manningham will be expected to start opposite Boldin, but the rest of the group lacks almost any league experience. Kyle Williams, perhaps the biggest name of the remaining receivers, is best known for his fumbling of punts in the NFC Championship game against the New York Giants two years ago.
By: Charlie Gille
Follow me on Twitter @CharlieGille
The Guardian Express