For another training camp, it’s become normal for Michael Crabtree to miss the practice field in August. When he was a rookie, he had a contract holdout. During his second season there was an injury during the first week which sidelined him. For last year, Crabtree ended up having surgery on his foot after fracturing it before training camp.
Entering his fourth season, he seemed healthy and ready to practice. Crabtree ended up injuring his leg on the first day, which has sidelined him ever since. He has missed six straight days of practice and it could be more.
Harbaugh doesn’t expect tension or chemistry trouble between Crabtree and Alex Smith. Both guys have worked together throughout the last four seasons.
“I feel for Michael [Crabtree,]” said Harbaugh. “He came in with such great shape. He looked fantastic. We feel we’ll get him back soon and we can pick him up. I don’t think this is going to be a major bump in the road. It should be a minor one. He’s champing at the bit to get back out there.”
Smith is not deeply concerned about his injury at all. He knows Crabtree will be ready for when it matters most during the season.
“At this point I’m not worried about [his injury],” said Smith. “He had such a great spring and summer. I don’t know when he’s going to be back, but I’ll look forward to his return. I feel good about what he got done this offseason. It’s a long camp and I feel he’ll get some good work in.”
Despite being the 49ers top receiver statistically last season, he was somewhat of a disappointment from where he was taken. The team drafted him when he fell to the tenth overall spot in 2009, thinking he could be the next big star.
If Crabtree is healthy on the field, he can be a quality possession receiver. Harbaugh has said in the past that he has the best hands out of any receiver he’s seen.
Crabtree has his work cut out for him with the several WRs on the roster competing for time. With Mario Manningham and Randy Moss added as free agents to the roster, things will not be easy. Young receivers in AJ Jenkins, Kyle Williams and possibly Nathan Palmer will also make it harder on him.
He was seen rehabbing his leg at Friday’s practice. Crabtree will need to learn fast if he wants to prove he was worth the top-10 draft pick in 2009.