Among the 49ers wide receivers who are trying to fill the shoes of Michael Crabtree, Mario Manningham is not a player who interests me. But he could be a big help to the Niners if he can play by week one, and Manningham thinks he can.
However, that return date might be wishful thinking. Manningham tore the ACL and PCL in his left knee less than seven months ago. He underwent multiple surgeries, and he will be a little more than eight months removed from the injury when the season arrives. While the 49ers are thin out wide, they will most likely take a cautious approach with Manningham's rehab, and he could start the season not on the field but on the Physically Unable to Perform list.
I'm not a big fan of A.J. Jenkins , but you definitely have to consider him and Quinton Patton in fantasy before giving even a momentary thought to Manningham. Athletes are always overly optimistic about their own health and healing powers; that is what's going on here. The 49ers aren't going to be fooled. They will take their time with Manningham and in the end, his 2013 season will probably turn out as dull as his 2012.