Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 12/26/12
A.J. Jenkins' time is now. Following Sunday's season-ending knee injury to Mario Manningham, the 49ers' first-round pick finally figures to be a part of a game plan. He's been active three times this season, but has yet to catch a pass, while sitting behind the team's veteran stable of receivers. Jenkins has quietly gone about his business, trying to soak up as much as possible in both practice and from the sideline during games. "Obviously going through my whole career, I've never had to sit out," Jenkins said. "This is my first time doing it. It's different. You never really saw the game from the sideline. Now is my opportunity to play, so I have to be ready for it." It may not take a standout effort from Jenkins this week as the team hosts lowly Arizona (5-10), but it'll need some production from him during the playoffs to help offset the loss of Manningham, which came just weeks after fellow receiver Kyle Williams was also lost for the year with a torn ACL. "I know everyone is making it a big deal," Jenkins said. "I'm going to be catching my first pass and everything and going to go out there and play football and do what I do best." In his senior year at Illinois, Jenkins caught 90 passes for 1,276 yards -- over 1,000 more yards than the Illini's second-leading receiver - but there hadn't been the need to thrust Jenkins into the rotation so far this season. "Some players get thrown into that fire and aren't ready. Some players can wait and then go out and have a great career," Jenkins said. "I'm willing to learn from Randy Moss and (Michael) Crabtree all this time. I'm not really looking at it like 'I haven't played, I'm not good.' I'm learning from the best in the game. I'm cool with that." He'd be cool with contributing in a game too, and coach Jim Harbaugh is confident the rookie can do just that. "A.J. will step up," Harbaugh said. "We'll look at a couple other options there at receiver. But, that group will have to step up." Harbaugh indicated the team would likely promote a player from the practice squad to fill Manningham's spot on the 53-man roster. Common sense would indicate the two most likely candidates are Ricardo Lockette or Chad Hall, a pair of receivers. Hall said that had been communicated to them as well. "They told Ricardo and I to be ready," Hall said. "It's probably one of ya'll that's going to be up this week. They've definitely hinted at it, but you just take it like I do every other week and prepare the same and always be ready." Both Hall (Philadelphia) and Lockette (Seattle) have seen time on active rosters. "We'll give (them) a real good look this week," Harbaugh said.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Several NBA executives have concerns about Lonzo Ball’s father

Kim Mulkey gives awful post-game speech about Baylor scandal

Bill Walton goes shirtless during ESPN broadcast to the dismay of one woman

Sanu: Halftime show played role in Super Bowl collapse

James Dolan is among potential group of investors of new arena for New York Islanders

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: Rams, Clippers discussing NBA venue in Inglewood

Terrence Jones reportedly interested in joining Celtics

LeBron reverses course, says he ‘always felt good’ about Cavs

Report: Ole Miss tried to implicate Mississippi State in football scandal

Jamaal Charles could be on the roster bubble

Jimmy Butler on state of Bulls: ‘I just want to win at all costs’

Top 10 shortstops in baseball for 2017

The most dangerous NBA teams flying under the radar

Eat, Drink, Watch: Your award-worthy weekend planning guide

Grading the NBA trade deadline on the Vince Carter scale

Box Score 2/24: A night of NBA disrespect

As NHL trade deadline nears, seven teams who could be dealing

The 'Pete Rose instead of Kareem? Surely, you can't be serious' quiz

Streaming sports docuseries you don't want to miss

Teams that can prevent a Cavs-Warriors NBA Finals three-peat

The NFL off-season is a passer’s fancy

The Aesthetic: Pushing the boundaries of the three-pointer

NBA coaches who should be fired soon

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Top 10 shortstops in baseball for 2017

The most dangerous NBA teams flying under the radar

Eat, Drink, Watch: Your award-worthy weekend planning guide

Grading the NBA trade deadline on the Vince Carter scale

Streaming sports docuseries you don't want to miss

As NHL trade deadline nears, seven teams who could be dealing

The 'Pete Rose instead of Kareem? Surely, you can't be serious' quiz

Teams that can prevent a Cavs-Warriors NBA Finals three-peat

The NFL off-season is a passer’s fancy

QUIZ: Name every MLB pitcher who has recorded 10 or more shutouts in a single season

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker