Michael Crabtree was the last chance for the San Francisco 49ers to complete their comeback and win Super Bowl XLVII, but the wide receiver revealed that he actually had to run the final play with a big impairment.
Crabtree was the target of 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick on the team’s final three offensive plays of the Super Bowl, as San Francisco trailed 34-31 but were on the doorstep of scoring. On third and goal from the 5-yard-line, Crabtree took a hit from Baltimore Ravens cornerback Jimmy Smith that was so hard, the wide receiver actually lost his vision for a bit.
“When the guy hit me, he hit me all in the face,” Crabtree told NFL Network. “I’m not tripping. I’m not one to whine about nothing, but he hit me all in the face and I couldn’t really see after he hit me.”
The hit could have actually kept Crabtree out, as new NFL rules require players to sit out if they suffer concussion symptoms. Crabtree said though he was momentarily blinded, the hit didn’t actually concuss him.
“They hit me, I really couldn’t see. … Then [my vision] just came back. It’s not concussion-like. When you get hit in football, it’s going to feel like you can’t see. It’s going to feel intense. But it snapped back. It happens all the time in football.”
Crabtree came right back for the next play, but the pass to him was again incomplete and the Ravens took over. They were able to run the clock down, ending the game with a punt that the 49ers could not bring close to the endzone.
Speaking to the NFL Network, Crabtree also hinted at the quarterback controversy that struck the team midseason, when coach Jim Harbaugh switched from Alex Smith to Kaepernick. Though both quarterbacks handled it well and no real hints of a locker room rift, Crabtree said he had a preference between the two.
“I think [Kaepernick] trusted me more. Playing wide receiver, you need a quarterback who trusts you. I feel like he trusted me,” Michael Crabtree said.