With receiver Michael Crabtree out indefinitely due to a ruptured Achilles tendon suffered on Tuesday, the 49ers now must decide how to replace him.
Coach Jim Harbaugh has opted not to disclose whether they team will consider adding players not currently on the team.
“We don’t comment on anybody but the players that we have here on this team,” Harbaugh told reporters on Wednesday, via quotes distributed by the 49ers.
It sounds like the 49ers initially will hope that players currently on the roster will step up.
“You look at the young receivers on our team that will emerge, because they have to emerge,” Harbaugh said. “So, [I'm] excited to watch them compete for that spot.”
Asked specifically whether Randy Moss could return to the team, Harbaugh reiterated his non-response response.
“We’re excited for the young receivers that we have,” Harbaugh said. “Really feel that somebody’s going to emerge there because they have to. And competition will create that. And we’ll look forward to watching that.”
At least Harbaugh used more than a few words to evade the question. Asked about the possible return of Moss, quarterback Colin Kaepernick simply said, “That’s not my decision.”
Harbaugh explained how the injury happened, and he emphasized that the 49ers don’t anticipate the injury will end Crabtree’s season.
“He was coming in motion and just was planted and started a route,” Harbaugh said. “And [it] felt like somebody kicked him in the Achilles, which sometimes people say it feels like. But, good news is he woke up from the surgery and first thing he asked [the doctor] how it went. So, he talked about the success of the surgery and that didn’t anticipate that he’d be out for the year. And his comment to that was he’s got no choice but to be back. So, every day now is a healing day. And that starts today.”
The effort to find an internal replacement starts today, too. And possibly the effort to find an external replacement.