Michael Crabtree, the 49ers wide receiver who was involved in the fourth-quarter Super Bowl play that could have brought a sixth championship to San Francisco, will be a long shot to get that same opportunity this season. The former first-round pick suffered a torn Achilles tendon during OTAs Tuesday, and had successful surgery to repair the Achilles, coach Jim Harbaugh said Wednesday.
USA Today's Mike Garafolo first reported the story.
More from Garafolo: "The [source] 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."
Harbaugh wouldn't speculate on how long Crabtree might be out, although the injury isn't necessarily season-ending. ProFootballTalk.com reports that Crabtree could be out six months, which would mark his return around Week 12.
Crabtree, drafted 10th overall in 2009, didn't emerge as a playmaker until last season when he racked up 85 receptions for 1,105 yards and nine touchdowns. In March, he admitted that much of his success had to do with second-year quarterback Colin Kaepernick.
"I think he trusted me more," Crabtree said at the time. "It was a lot of trust. Playing wide receiver you need to have a quarterback who trusts you. And I feel like he trusted me."
With Crabtree sidelined, Kaepernick loses his favorite target. The 49ers passing game will now have to go through Mario Manningham (who was second on the team in receptions in 2012 with 42), tight end Vernon Davis (41 receptions in '12), offseason acquisition Anquan Boldin, and with the hope that 2012 first-rounder A.J. Jenkins can contribute after getting shut out last season.