SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- Quinton Patton accounted for minus-1 yard of offense and he was colder than he's ever been in his life in Green Bay on Sunday.
Yet, Patton was having the time of his life.
“I couldn't imagine a better situation for me,” the San Francisco 49ers' rookie receiver said this week. “It an opportunity. Just be able to work behind Michael Crabtree and Anquan Boldin every day. A rookie couldn't ask for anything more.”
The fourth-round pick is a key part of the 49ers' offense as they try to stay alive in the postseason. He is the No. 3 receiver and figures to get some chances behind top receiving options: Crabtree and Boldin and tight end Vernon Davis.
While Patton, who took over as the No. 3 receiver last month when Mario Manningham was lost for the season with a knee injury, didn't have a catch at Green Bay, the team is excited about him moving forward. He made an incredible catch to setup the game-winning field goal at Arizona in Week 17.
Patton, who missed 10 weeks with a broken foot, said he's bound to take advantage of this chance.
“If [quarterback Colin Kaepernick] trusts me, I will get more opportunities,” Patton said. “Gaining his trust and showing him I can deliver is important to me.”
Patton's role in the playoffs is not only vital now, but in the future. If he continues to make plays, it will be a message to the front office and the coaching staff that he can continue to be a top three receiver in 2014 and beyond. The 49ers have needs in the upcoming draft, and receiver may be one of them. A strong postseason by Patton could alter those plans.