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Patton Cleared to Catch Passes

Posted Aug 19, 2013

The rookie wideout's left index finger is healed and will no longer limit him as he competes for playing time.


Quinton Patton just needs gold.

The 49ers rookie receiver was sporting a red and black splint on his left index finger in the locker room on Monday. Before his second practice participating fully, he revealed that he broke the digit while trying to haul in a Colt McCoy-thrown pass before the start of training camp last month.

Of course, Patton – San Francisco’s fourth-round draft pick in April – would like to be catching passes from Colin Kaepernick this fall.

“Just put your hands up, spread ‘em out,” he said of the key to catching Kaepernick-tossed footballs. “That’s it.”

Was McCoy’s – or any other quarterback’s ball – as speedy as Kap’s?

“Not that hard,” Patton said.

The Louisiana Tech product is now officially embroiled in an 11-man battle for five or six 53-man roster spots. In the place of outgoing 2012 first-round draft pick A.J. Jenkins, whom the 49ers traded earlier Monday, will be the man he begot: Chiefs 2011 first-round pick Jon Baldwin.

Where does Patton see himself fitting in with two preseason games remaining?

“I just to compete every day, in and out,” said Patton, who added that Jenkins was a help to him personally and a good friend. “Just try to put my best foot forward and leave up it to the coaches who plays.”

Wearing a soft cast around his left hand, Patton had been one-handing catches in practice since his injury. He has also been wearing a blue, non-contact jersey, running routes and "taking mental reps."

There's no doubt he appreciates donning team's the red and white uniform -- the offense and defense alternates between the two on a daily basis.

“I felt like I could compete out there (with the cast),” he said, “but there is a difference."

Jim Harbaugh said he and the coaching staff will make use of the almost three weeks before Opening Day on Sept. 8, when the Green Bay Packers come to Candlestick Park.

“How do you evaluate him? That continues," Harbaugh said. "Being that much more that he can do in practice now, which will be great.”

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