Mario Manningham will play his first game for the San Francisco 49ers since injuring his knee last December. This has the potential to be a huge addition, not because Manningham is a tope tier wide receiver, but because he is a decent wide receiver—something the 49ers have been sorely lacking behind the glue-for-hands Anquan Boldin. Even if Manningham does no more than catch one ball for ten yards, he will be outdoing what any other 49ers receiver has done to this point—the wide receiver with the second most receptions is Kyle Williams, with 7. Thus, it will be difficult, if not impossible, for Manningham to be a step in the wrong direction for this team.
The fact that the return of a receiver of Manningham’s caliber has the potential to be this big sheds light on just how bad the options are for Colin Kaepernick when he drops back to pass. This year has shown that even Tom Brady struggles when given no quality options. Thus, it is hard to critique Kaepernick based solely on the first half of 2013. Besides, a 6-2 record is not bad. It’s impressive, actually, considering how little the 49ers have thrown the ball in the past five weeks. Now they might be able to mix it up a little bit. That is why they could be dangerous down the stretch.