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49ers Top Wideouts Practice on Thanksgiving


**It's been a long time coming.

Thirteen weeks into the regular season in fact.

Michael Crabtree, Anquan Boldin, Mario Manningham and Quinton Patton all practiced on Thanksgiving. It marked the first time all four of the receivers practiced together at the same time since being members of the 49ers.

"It's nice to see those guys out there," offensive coordinator Greg Roman said. "Takes on a different dimension, but at the same time, whoever's played up until this point has done a good job and we'll just see how it goes from here."

Manningham and Patton were limited practice participants, Crabtree and Boldin were full-go on Thursday.

Crabtree appears to be on track for Sunday's game against the St. Louis Rams.

The fifth-year wideout continues to be taking a careful approach. He's also yet to speak to the media this week. Crabtree has been known for letting his play do the talking.

In any case, Roman was asked about the team's plans for Crabtree against the Rams.

"It's always great to have a player like Michael back out at practice," San Francisco's play-caller said. "He's progressing nicely and we hope to have him out there on Sunday."

Crabtree's return should open things up in the passing game. Only two players have caught touchdowns this season – Boldin and Vernon Davis. The 49ers tight end leads the team with nine touchdown catches in 10 games.

Roman, however, isn't stressing over who catches the touchdowns. He just wants to see the 49ers No. 32-ranked passing attack continue to evolve in the month of December with a full cast of playmakers available.

"As a staff, feel that the more guys we can get involved, I think that's something that we definitely try to do in a lot of different ways," Roman said. "Whether it's extra o-linemen getting in the game, spreading the ball around, having everybody contribute and I think that's something that we can do a better job of moving forward."

Crabtree's usage will be limited on Sunday. The coaches will be wise with how they utilize last season's team leader in catches and receiving yards.

"I think that's a fair statement in a general sense that I don't think we're just going to throw him out there and just have him play every play," Roman said. "But, I think it's day-to-day. See how he's doing. See what he can handle. See what's best. And I think that you've got to have a feel for that day-to-day, week-to-week, and that'll be it.

"Now, is there going to be a pitch count or whatnot? I don't know that there necessarily will be, but we'll try to have a good feel for it."

Thanksgiving Notes

-Roman envisions opposing defenses having to play more balanced coverage with Crabtree and Boldin in the lineup.

  • According to Roman, Adam Snyder will start in place of Mike Iupati at left guard for a second consecutive week.

-Daniel Kilgore played at the end of last week's win at center. Second-year guard Joe Looney made his NFL debut at guard in the fourth quarter with the 49ers up by three touchdowns.

-Vic Fangio was pleased with the first start of Tramaine Brock and also said he feels like Eric Wright's best football is still "ahead of him."

-Fangio sees the Rams utilizing rookie receiver Tavon Austin much more frequently as the season has gone on. Austin is viewed by the 49ers as a "real threat."

-Tarell Brown (ribs) did not practice on Thursday, but he was seen stretching and warming up on the field with his teammates. Garrett Celek (hamstring), Iupati (knee) and Ray McDonald (ankle) did not practice as well.

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