So much for working 49ers receiver Michael Crabtree into the mix slowly.
Josh Morgan was informed Monday that Crabtree will be taking his place in the starting lineup opposite Isaac Bruce, according to the Santa Rosa Press Democrat. Morgan stuck around the 49ers facility during the team’s bye week to help Crabtree assimilate into the offense.
Morgan leads San Francisco wideouts in receiving yards, yards per catch, and touchdowns. (Well, touchdown to be precise. He’s the only 49er wide receiver to catch one.)
Mike Singletary didn’t confirm the move, but said it was a “strong possibility” that Crabtree would start, even though he’s sensitive to how it will hinder Morgan’s development and the message Crabtree’s ascension sends to the rest of the team.
That message, loosely translated, is that it takes a week to make up for missing nearly the entire offseason, training camp, and five games if you are talented enough. Or if you are getting paid enough.
The decision runs counter to all expectations and reports about what kind of immediate impact Crabtree could have. The idea is to win games, though, and the move shows how confident the 49ers staff is in Crabtree’s ability to help them now.
Crabtree has more pressure than ever to prove the 49ers right.