The long anticipated news Niner fans everywhere had been waiting for finally came on Tuesday: San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Michael Crabtree was cleared to practice.
Of course, this is only step one of a multiple step process. Should Crabtree not suffer any setbacks over the next three weeks, he should be available for the final five games of the season, which includes a home game against the Seattle Seahawks. He tore his Achilles five-and-a-half months ago during practice.
[Related: Photos from Crabtree’s first day at practice]
Starting on Tuesday, the 49ers have 21 days to either activate Crabtree or place him on the injury list for the rest of the season. All signs point to the wideout being activated by Week 13, as 49ers coaches have said he has been progressing well in workouts. Greg Roman recently said about Crabtree:
Got a chance to watch him work out about a week ago and was very, very encouraged with what I saw. Surprised, I guess, would be a good word, too, in the sense of what he was doing and how he was doing it. So that’s very exciting as well. He’s working real hard at it. Crab’s a very competitive guy and he wants out there. We obviously want him out there. I will tell you this, he’s probably ahead of schedule with where he’s at just because of his work ethic.
Crabtree was Colin Kaepernick’s favorite target last season. After Kaepernick was named the starter, Crabtree had five 100-yard games. When targeting Crabs, Kap had a 123.9 passer rating, eight touchdowns and no interceptions. Number 15 finished with 85 receptions for 1,105 yards and nine touchdowns last season, all career-highs.