A.J. Jenkins can step up for 49ers in Michael Crabtree's absence

San Francisco needs 2012 1st round pick to emerge Brad Biggs

Print This May 22, 2013, 07:39 PM EST

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The San Francisco 49ers will not compensate for the loss of wide receiver Michael Crabtree with one player.

It’s going to require a concerted effort by the entire offense to make up for the absence of Crabtree, who really emerged during 2012 and in the team’s Super Bowl run. Anquan Boldin was signed in free agency and he’ll help fill in but the wild card in the passing game could be A.J. Jenkins, the first-round pick from a year ago that was mostly invisible in his rookie season.

Jenkins has been working hard this offseason to get bigger after weighing only 192 pounds last season. According to Nate Stuhlbarg of CSN Bay Area, Jenkins is getting closer to his goal of 200. The plan was for Jenkins to compete to be the No. 3 wide receiver this season. Now, maybe that moves up a notch with Crabtree out the entire year following the rupture of an Achilles tendon.

"I'm a lot better than I was last year around this time," Jenkins said.

It should be. According to the report, he spent two months living and training with quarterback Colin Kaepernick in Atlanta this offseason.,

With any luck, that work will pay off because the Niners sure need it to now.

Follow me on Twitter: @BradBiggs

Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune

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