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49ers may start Swain with Crabtree against Rams

  • San Francisco's Michael Crabtree, seen above, right, against the Pittsburgh Steelers, may have a new receiving mate on Sunday against the Rams. (JOHN BURGESS / The Press Democrat)

SANTA CLARA — Wide receiver Brett Swain didn't take it personally when the Green Bay Packers released him with two weeks left in training camp.

Having landed in San Francisco with a team that could pose the biggest threat to the defending Super Bowl champs in the playoffs has made it easier to handle.

“There's no point in running around having hard feelings against anybody, especially when we have a great situation here,” Swain said Thursday. “We have an opportunity to go and win a possible Super Bowl, too. What we need to be focused on right now is the next game. That's all we're really worried about.”

Swain, who has just one catch this season, has a chance to make an even bigger impact on the 49ers' postseason than he did a year ago when he helped the Packers to their first championship in 14 years.

With San Francisco's receiving group depleted by injuries and the team's decision to release Braylon Edwards earlier this week, offensive coordinator Greg Roman hinted Swain may start with Michael Crabtree in Sunday's regular-season finale at St. Louis.

“I think there's a good chance of that,” Roman said. “We'll mix and match things pretty loosely.”

Edwards was released by San Francisco on Tuesday after being held to one catch for 9 yards in last week's win against Seattle, ending a disappointing season marked by injuries and a lack of production.

That's been the case for almost every wide receiver on the roster, with the exception of Crabtree.

The 49ers' first-round pick in 2009, Crabtree has 64 catches for 788 yards and has remained mostly injury-free after having problems with a lingering foot injury in the offseason.

The other five receivers the team has used this season, including Edwards, have combined for 70 catches, 871 yards. All have missed time with injuries or, in the case of Swain, been buried on the depth chart.

Swain played sparingly for three seasons in Green Bay but was cut by the Packers late in camp and didn't sign with San Francisco until Oct. 12.

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