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.
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.
Pairing him with incumbent veterans
“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.”