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Rams Counting on Michael Crabtree to Play

Posted Nov 27, 2013

Jeff Fisher said his group of young DBs will be challenged if the 49ers have their No. 1 wideout back at their disposal on Sunday at Candlestick Park.


Whether Michael Crabtree makes his season debut for the 49ers on Sunday is something St. Louis Rams coach Jeff Fisher isn’t entirely sure about.

Fisher’s desire is more clear-cut.

“We hope that maybe he’d wait another week,” St. Louis' coach said Wednesday morning on a conference call with Bay Area reporters.

Jim Harbaugh, Fishers’ counterpart in San Francisco, has said he “anticipates” that Crabtree, the team’s leading receiver in 2012, would see his first action since tearing his right Achilles last May.

PHOTO GALLERY: The Best of Michael Crabtree

The NFC West rivals meet at Candlestick Park on Sunday afternoon. Crabtree’s presence would undoubtedly boost a unit that, coming off consecutive subpar performances against Carolina and at Carolina, scored 27 points in the team’s Week 12 win at Washington.

Crabtree, who was officially activated from the Reserve/PUP list to the 53-man roster on Tuesday, has been available to practice since Nov. 5. He is coming of a banner fourth pro season in which he set career highs in receptions (85), yards (1,105) and touchdowns (nine) to help the 49ers reach the Super Bowl.

READ: 49ers Welcome 'Crab' Back

Pairing him with incumbent veterans Anquan Boldin and Mario Manningham – not to mention tight end Vernon Davis – would seem to give San Francisco the edge over a St. Louis defense that yields 247 passing yards per game, which ranks in the middle of the NFC pack.

“We’re expecting him to play,” Fisher said of Crabtree. “So obviously you go back and look before the injury and what he did and we’re familiar with that. We have respect for his ability and our young group of ‘DBs’ will certainly be challenged.

“It’s hard for us to predict how the 49ers offense, their staff is going to utilize him this week, but we have to be prepared for anything.”

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