The 49ers did not activate receiver Michael Crabtree by the 1 p.m. (PST) deadline today, meaning he will not make his 2013 debut on Monday Night Football against the Redskins. Instead, Crabtree is expected to join the 53-man roster Tuesday and be available, at least, for Sunday's game against the Rams at Candlestick Park.
Crabtree joined the team at practice three weeks ago but has remained on the physically-unable-to-perform list and currently does not count against the 53-man roster. The 49ers' top wideout in 2012 is recovering from a completely torn Achilles' tendon that occurred May 21. He practiced with teammates in the warm-up to tonight's game.
Jim Harbaugh and Trent Baalke have been coy about when Crabtree, their top receiver from last season, will suit up for the first time in an effort to keep their opponents guessing. However, they could not afford to even symbolically elevate him to the active roster because several starters will miss the game with injuries and their backups are needed on the field.
Both cornerback Tarell Brown and guard Mike Iupati have been ruled out for the game. That means that Adam Snyder will start at left guard and that Joe Looney, who has been inactive every game of his career, could be in uniform today.
In addition, left defensive end Ray McDonald (high ankle sprain) and tight end Garrett Celek (hamstring) are questionable to play. If they can't go, backups Quinton Dial and Derek Carrier likely would be active.
The 49ers desperately need Crabtree back in the lineup to give Colin Kaepernick another quality target. He's thrown touchdown passes to only two players this year, Anquan Boldin and Vernon Davis. Boldin leads the 49ers with 630 receiving yards. The next most prolific wide receiver on the roster, Mario Manningham, has 38.
- Matt Barrows