CINCINNATI -- Coach Jim Harbaugh said he was prepared to throw the challenge flag to dispute whether receiver Michael Crabtree stepped out of bounds in the third quarter.But the Fox telecast never showed a replay until it was too late -- and, even then, it wasn't certain whether the play would've been overturned."We had no replay view of it," Harbaugh said after the 49ers' 13-8 victory over the Cincinnati Bengals. "The official threw his hat early, so figured he saw it. Then you think, we'll just challenge it anyway jut to see if they come up with a view we're not seeing."
Crabtree caught an apparent 10-yard touchdown pass from Alex Smith in the third quarter. But Crabtree was called for illegal touch. He was ruled to have gone out of bounds and was the first player to touch the ball. It was a play that could've been reviewed. All scoring plays are automatically reviewed, but the play was not ruled as a scoring play.The 49ers eventually settled for David Akers' game-tying field goal.Afterward, Crabtree said he still was not sure if he remained in-bounds or not."They said I stepped out of bounds. I just went with what the ref said," Crabtree said. "I was in the zone. So I really couldn't see. They said I stepped out of bounds. We got the win, that's all I can say. That's the important thing."Crabtree returned to action after missing last week's game with a left foot injury. He started and played most of the game and caught three passes for 24 yards."I played the whole game," Crabtree said. "I came out of it healthy. I'm blessed with that."