Jim Harbaugh today said team doctors told him that Michael Crabtree's surgically repaired Achilles' tendon "looks great," and the 49ers' top receiver remains on track to return at some point this season. Crabtree tore the tendon May 21 and had surgery the next day.
Harbaugh said the 49ers will place Crabtree on the physically unable to perform list, which will give San Francisco the option of activating him during the season. After the first six games of the season, the 49ers will have a three-week window to take Crabtree off the list. They then have three more weeks to activate him or shut him down altogether.
"Wouldn't categorize it as 'ahead of schedule' because he's just starting right now to start moving on it," Harbaugh said. "It's been just healing so far. But it looks great. And that's in the words of the doctors, so, again optimistic there."
With Crabtree out at least through the middle of November, wide receiver is the 49ers' biggest battle of training camp. Veteran Anquan Boldin will start at one spot. The other spot is up for grabs among a group of inexperienced players. Harbaugh today said A.J. Jenkins, Ricardo Lockette, Quinton Patton and Marlon Moore top the list of candidates.
It's also likely that there may be a committee approach to the No. 2 spot, which was the case last year. "I really feel like they're making a lot of progress," Harbaugh said of that group. "I feel good about where that stands right now."
Meanwhile, both Kyle Williams (ACL) and Mario Manningham (ACL) will begin training camp on the PUP list. Harbaugh declined to discuss their progress, though Williams seemed poised to return to practice during the June minicamp.
Harbaugh noted that Crabtree has been in the area rehabilitating since his injury and did not return home to Dallas this offseason.
-- Matt Barrows