Harbaugh talks defense, LaMichael, Crabtree's return
Colin Kaepernick will be reunited with Michael Crabtree, who led the team with 85 receptions for 1,105 yards and nine touchdowns last season. (AP)
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The 49ers will activate wide receiver Michael Crabtree to the 53-man roster on Tuesday and he could make his season debut as early as Sunday against the St. Louis Rams.
Coach Jim Harbaugh confirmed Crabtree will be removed from the reserve/physically-unable-to-perform list. And he suggested Crabtree will make his season debut against the Rams at Candlestick Park. The 49ers must clear a roster spot for the addition of Crabtree.
“I anticipate he’s going to come back this week,” Harbaugh said.
Crabtree was cleared to resume practice Nov. 5 – just 24 weeks after he underwent surgery to repair a completely torn right Achilles tendon. Crabtree has taken part in limited practices during his three weeks on the field.
If the 49ers determine after the week of practices that Crabtree is not ready to return to game action, they could declare him as one of the team’s seven inactive players until he’s ready. Only 46 players on every team’s 53-man roster suit up for games.
The 49ers waited the entire allowable period of 21 days before making the decision to activate Crabtree. He could have been moved to the roster at any point during the three-week window. But the 49ers determined he was not ready to play Monday night. He was not needed in a 27-6 victory over Washington.
Quarterback Colin Kaepernick will be reunited with Crabtree, who led the team with 85 receptions for 1,105 yards and nine touchdowns last season.
In 8 1/2 games with Alex Smith at quarterback, Crabtree caught 43 passes for 459 yards and four touchdowns last season. In 10 1/2 games with Kaepernick, including the postseason, Crabtree had 62 receptions for 931 yards and eight touchdowns.
“He’s a great playmaker,” Kaepernick said. “He can make a lot of plays. I think everybody knows that.
“I wouldn’t say (he’s my) security blanket, but he’s a playmaker for us.”
Crabtree sustained a torn Achilles on May 21 while running a pass route in the 49ers’ offseason program. He underwent surgery the following day.