- Bill Williamson, ESPN Staff Writer
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The San Francisco 49ers may now have a fourth receiving option behind receivers Michael Crabtree and Anquan Boldin, and tight end Vernon Davis. A lack of receiving weapons has been an issue for San Francisco all season.
Patton, a fourth-round pick who missed 10 weeks with a broken foot, was a factor Sunday. He made an incredible 29-yard catch on the sideline in the final seconds to set up the game-winning field goal. He finished with two catches and had a 26-yard run on a reverse play. He also made a big block on a Boldin catch.
With Mario Manningham on injured reserve, Patton has a chance to establish himself as a reliable No. 3 receiver for the postseason and beyond. If Patton plays well in the playoffs, it will go a long way to giving the 49ers' coaching staff confidence in him going into his second season.
"I was very excited for Quinton," 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh said Monday. "To come back [from his injury] and practice and work the way he's done has been really good to see and then to make the impact in the ballgame that he made yesterday. Just very excited for him and excited for our team that way ... I like the way he competed. Liked the way he came through. Like the way he made the tough catch. I've always liked that about him. I really think he's a competitor. Competing for balls. Competing to get in position to make a block. Competing when he's running with the football. I think all those things were very good. Very excited for him."
Expect Patton to get more opportunities to impress his coach Sunday at Green Bay.
Meanwhile, Footballscoop.com reports offensive line coach Tim Drevno will become offensive line coach at USC after the season. He has been with Harbaugh for 10 years. The team still has offensive line coach Mike Solari. The 49ers will likely fill the role in the offseason.