After he made a key 51-yard catch on fourth down in the fourth quarter of last Sunday’s victory over the Saints, 49ers wide receiver Michael Crabtree referred to himself as the “third option” and suggested some displeasure with his role by saying he only plays when the team needs him.
That came after Crabtree said last week that his impact this season isn’t where he wants it to be while playing around 70 percent of the team’s offensive snaps. The fact that it’s a contract year for Crabtree, who hasn’t helped his cause with drops, probably exacerbates those feelings, although coach Jim Harbaugh said Wednesday that he doesn’t think there’s a problem on either side.
“I don’t think so,” Harbaugh said, via the Sacramento Bee. “Seems to be doing a fantastic job and getting the ball a lot.”
Crabtree’s been targeted 68 times this season, second only to Anquan Boldin on the team, so he’s hardly been a forgotten man in an inconsistent passing offense this season. That doesn’t mean a player can’t be frustrated, although Crabtree’s drops are a reminder that he’s been part of the reason for the inconsistency.