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Michael Crabtree Progresses, Uncertain for Saints

Posted Nov 14, 2013

Will Michael Crabtree play in Week 11? The 49ers coaches and members of the locker room offered their thoughts on the subject.

Carlos Rogers knows what Michael Crabtree is like at full strength and full volume.

The 49ers veteran cornerback and play-making wideout have had their share of training camp battles. Because of those playful confrontations, Rogers knows when Crabtree’s at his best, words are flying out of his mouth.

So when asked if Crabtree is nearing a return to the field this Sunday against the New Orleans Saints, Rogers said the trash-talking side hasn’t come out yet during Crabtree’s brief practice appearances in 2013.

“I don’t think he’s ready now to line up and talk trash like he was in front of me,” Rogers said of Thursday.

Crabtree, the team’s No. 1 wideout in 2012, hasn’t been ruled out of the team’s plans just yet. The 49ers coaching staff has kept Crabtree’s availability a mystery this week. The fifth-year wideout, who suffered an Achilles tear in May, was cleared to practice on Nov. 5, but remains on the team’s Reserve/Physically Unable to Perform list.

Jim Harbaugh was asked about the possibility of the team activating Crabtree in time for Sunday’s road matchup in New Orleans, but San Francisco’s coach offered no specifics in his response.

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“We’ll see,” said Harbaugh, who later added, “We’ve been encouraged with his progress.”

Greg Roman shared more on the subject. Crabtree was not seen at the portion of Wednesday’s practice open to the media, but that doesn’t mean he wasn’t around.

“He was out here,” the offensive coordinator said repeatedly when peppered about Crabtree’s whereabouts.

Roman didn’t have many more updates to share other than that.

“Mike’s coming along,” Roman said. “He’s day-to-day. it remains to be seen if he’s going to play this week, but he’s looking really good.”

Roman went on to say that Crabtree’s practice workload will increase as long as it’s supported by the team’s medical staff.

For now, the most important thing is monitoring Crabtree’s health after his brief practice work. Crabtree doesn’t practice every day, which is not a sign of a setback, but a sign of the receiver listening to his body and allowing it to rest in between work days.

Crabtree’s teammates see a hard-worker poised to return, but they also see someone who is going about his rehab in the best way possible.

“He goes out and practices some, but going out and being able to play with an Achilles, you never know,” Rogers said. “One day you can feel good. One day you can feel like it’s tight, so it’s hard to say until he can be full in to it.”

Crabtree became the 49ers first, 1,000-yard receiver in a decade last season. Considering San Francisco has the league’s No. 32 passing attack, the members of the 49ers would love to see a gifted athlete like Crabtree back in the lineup, but only at the right time.

“The sooner he can get out there, I’m sure he’ll be a big help to our offense,” Rogers said.

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