As the Cardinals prepare to face the 49ers on Sunday, they’re watching film of San Francisco receiver Michael Crabtree and seeing a receiver who isn’t all the way back from the Achilles injury that sidelined him for most of the season.
Cardinals cornerback Patrick Peterson says he can tell by watching Crabtree that he’s not where he would be if he had been playing all season.
“He’s slowly getting back into the groove, like he’s trying to get back in game shape, get back moving the way he used to,” Peterson said, via the Sacramento Bee. “You can tell he doesn’t look as comfortable as he did when he was healthy. That’s going to come with time.”
Cardinals coach Bruce Arians said Crabtree seems to be improving each week but isn’t as good as he was last year.
“I do not see the same guy,” he said of Crabtree. “But he’s getting really close.”
Crabtree may not be all the way back, but after his 102-yard game on Monday night, he seems to be close. After averaging 69 receiving yards a game last season, Crabtree is averaging 64 receiving yards a game this season. Perhaps reading the comments from Peterson and Arians will motivate Crabtree to show them on Sunday that he’s just as capable of a big game against the Cardinals this year as he was last year, when he totaled 13 catches for 244 yards and four touchdowns in two games against Arizona.