Wide receiver Quinton Patton was not able to catch passes with both hands for the first three weeks of training camp due to a broken index finger on his left hand.

And that meant he could not play in the 49ers' first two exhibition games.

As it turns out perhaps the initial setbacks actually proved to benefit the rookie wide receiver when he finally was cleared to suit up with his teammates for a game.

Patton made the most of his time on the sideline during the first two weeks as he was able to watch two live NFL games and absorb the kind of information in real time that is unavailable in a film room.

"You get a lot more mental reps and visuals from everybody of what's going on" Patton said. "You get people on the sideline like Anquan Boldin when they get done with their series they'll pull me to the side and say 'Look in this coverage do this.' You see the leverage going during a live game so that helped me as a player."

And when Patton was able to begin catching passes he caught more than anyone else on the field Sunday night in the 49ers' 34-14 victory over the Minnesota Vikings. Patton had four receptions for 35 yards including a 5-yard touchdown pass from Colin Kaepernick.

Patton looked so impressive that coach Jim Harbaugh had to stop himself from heaping too much praise on the fourth-round draft pick.

"I don't think that the big stage bothers him and it doesn't make him nervous" Harbaugh said. "He's a competitor you notice that. Boy you hate to say too much more about a rookie player. (Let's) see if he can't keep getting better."

Said Patton "(I'm) always nervous before a game until the first hit and you be like 'OK the hard part is over with.' It was just great being out there with my teammates."