The San Francisco 49ers placed wide receivers Michael Crabtree and Mario Manningham on the physically unable to perform list on Tuesday, according to Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee. Crabtree is rehabbing an Achilles injury, while Manningham is still rehabbing an ACL and PCL injury from last season.
The move is significant because it likely means the 49ers expect both players back at some point this season. With the PUP list, players do not count toward the 53-man roster, but they are also ineligible to play for the first six weeks of the NFL season, only able to return to practice on the Tuesday following the completion of said sixth week.
Crabtree will likely be absent for longer than the six weeks. The 49ers are hoping Crabtree can come back at some point before the playoffs and get enough playing time to be fresh in order to help them reach the Super Bowl again.
San Francisco's wide receiver depth chart is a mess at the moment. Anquan Boldin became the No. 1 receiver and the team is expected to lean on tight end Vernon Davis in the passing game, but things get murky from there. A.J. Jenkins was recently traded to the Kansas City Chiefs in exchange for Jon Baldwin, who is raw and still doesn't know the playbook.
Then there's Austin Collie and Lavelle Hawkins, two veterans who may or may not make the roster and rookie Quinton Patton, who just played for the first time in the third preseason game (but he did look good). Patton is a player the 49ers hope will catch on quickly so he can take some snaps in the slot or even opposite Boldin in the regular season.
With these and other moves on Tuesday, the 49ers have moved beneath the 75-man roster limit.