SANTA CLARA – When asked whom he expects to face this Sunday, Michael Crabtree smiled, shrugged and said, “I don’t know, man. I don’t know what to expect.”
Here’s what you can expect: He probably will not face much of No.1 cornerback Tramon Williams, whom the Packers list as their left cornerback. Left cornerbacks typically line up against flankers and the 49ers list Randy Moss, not Crabtree, as their flanker.
Crabtree is listed as the starting split end, so he’ll probably face the Packers’ right cornerback. But the Packers haven’t named their starting right cornerback yet. They’re expected to make that announcement tomorrow when they release their first official depth chart.
Jarrett Bush and Sam Shields are the two main candidates for the job. Bush (6-foot-0, 200 pounds) has started just seven games in his six-year career, while Shields (5-11, 184) has started 13 games since he was drafted in 2010.
I’m guessing the Packers will choose Bush to cover Crabtree this Sunday, because Bush is big and strong. Shields would give up nearly 30 pounds to Crabtree.
It is possible Crabtree will face both Bush and Shields. In the Packers’ divisional playoff loss to the Giants, Bush played on first and second downs and Shields played on third downs.
Whomever he faces, Crabtree should have a big advantage.