Star San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Michael Crabtree tore his Achilles tendon during organized team activities, potentially ending his season before it even began.
Mike Garafolo of USA Today Sports was the first to report Crabtree’s injury. The wide receiver will soon be undergoing what could be season-ending surgery.
The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the 49ers haven’t commented on the injury, which used to be an automatic season-ender but has since become one that can sometimes be rehabbed in a matter of months — as Baltimore Ravens linebacker Terrell Suggs and Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive end Da’Quan Bowers did last year.
Both Suggs and Bowers tore their Achilles tendons in the spring and managed to return in time for that same season. In Suggs’ case, the linebacker was able to help his teammate Ray Lewis win one final Super Bowl ring in beating Crabtree’s Niners.
Crabtree was selected with the No. 10-overall pick out of Texas Tech in 2009, but he had struggled to live up to the lofty expectations of such a high draft slot over the first three years of his career.
However, he set career highs in receptions (85), yards (1,105) and touchdowns (nine) while forming an elite rapport with newly minted starting quarterback Colin Kaepernick. He had been working hard to bring his game to an even higher level and San Francisco had been looking forward to seeing the results.
The organization had gone out and traded for Anquan Boldin prior to this year’s draft, sending Baltimore a second- and third-round pick. His acquisition will be helpful, but Boldin is seen as more of a possession receiver while Crabtree, only 25 years old, is the explosive downfield threat so difficult for NFL defenses to account for. The Niners also drafted Quinton Patton out of Louisiana Tech, and he will be asked to step up despite his inexperience.
Kobe Bryant tore his Achilles only days before the NBA Playoffs and is looking forward to a return next season, even though he is 10 years older than Crabtree.
If we as sports fans have learned anything from watching the recovery of Derrick Rose, however, it is the fact that every body reacts differently to injuries and surgery, and that no one should be rushing Crabtree’s return.