San Francisco 49ers receiver Quinton Patton (11) runs past San Diego Chargers defensive back Marcus Cromartie (35) for a touchdown during the first half at Qualcomm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

San Francisco 49ers Quinton Patton back at practice

San Francisco 49ers rookie wide receiver Quinton Patton hasn’t played or even practice since Week 4, when he fractured his right foot against the St. Louis Rams. The former Louisiana Tech standout caught his first- and only- pass of his career against the Rams, though it didn’t even go for a yard. It’s a surprise to see that the 49ers have allowed Patton to wade on the 53-man roster, since he’s only a No. 4 wide receiver in the 49ers run-heavy offense and has been injured for this long.

It’s a surprise, but it’s a shrewd move in the long run, given that Colin Kaepernick needs as many weapons around him as possible. The 49ers playoff spot isn’t guaranteed, but this is a team that definitely has its eyes set on another run to the Super Bowl. They will be looking to make a third straight appearance in the NFC Championship game, and having more quality depth at the wide receiver position will certainly help them achieve that goal. The Seattle Seahawks are even better than they were last year and the New Orleans Saints are an elite team again, but the 49ers should still be regarded as an elite team, especially with Michael Crabtree re-entering the fold.

According to Eric Branch of the San Francisco Chronicle, Quinton Patton returned to practice yesterday for the 49ers, marking the first time he has practiced since fracturing his foot. It’s been a rough rookie season for Patton thus far, but his prospects look good as the team’s No. 4 wideout. It would be great for the 49ers to get him back and add some key depth to the wide receiver corps, especially if Patton is able to make solid contributions to the offense when called upon. Patton has the talent to potentially be a good No. 2 receiver in this league, but it’s all about making small steps as a rookie.

Tags: Injury Report Quinton Patton San Francisco 49ers

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