The 49ers spent most of the season scrambling to find enough wide receivers to fill out their roster, which makes it a bit funny to see that they may wind up with too many receivers for the available spots as the year winds down.
Mario Manningham returned from his knee injury last month and Michael Crabtree returned from his Achilles injury last week to give the unit a much needed shot in the arm. Now rookie Quinton Patton is practicing in full and totally off the injury report with the broken foot that kept him sidelined from Week Four until Wednesday.
Patton had one catch in the first four weeks, but the team thought enough of his ability to keep him on the 53-man roster until he’s healthy. Now they’ve just got to find space for him in the roster. Anquan Boldin joined Crabtree and Manningham in the lineup last week with Jon Baldwin inactive alongside Patton. Wide receiver Kassim Osgood was active, but he’s a special teamer and rarely sees offensive snaps.
He’s not likely to come out of the lineup, so the 49ers would have to find a player at another position to deactivate to find room for Patton on Sunday. Injuries to tackle Joe Staley and guard Mike Iupati could keep them off the field this week, which may provide a solution if the 49ers don’t need to add linemen to the mix for gameday.