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December 1, 2013
49ers pregame: Crabtree to start; Ray McDonald back


Michael Crabtree not only will make his 2013 debut today against the Rams, he is listed as the starter at wide receiver in place of Mario Manningham. Crabtree is coming back from surgery to repair a completely torn right Achilles' tendon suffered on May 21. He practiced in full last week and is not listed on the team's injury report.

Fellow wide receiver Quinton Patton's return to the lineup, however, will be delayed another week at least. He and Jon Baldwin (three catches this season) are among the 49ers' seven inactive players. Still, the 49ers will have their top three receivers - Crabtree, Manningham and the other starter, Anquan Boldin - on the field for the first time this season.

Also active is defensive end Ray McDonald, who missed the last two games with a high-ankle sprain. McDonald did not practice during the week, but he warmed up extensively before the game and got the go-ahead from team doctors. He'll start at left defensive end.

Two starters, guard Mike Iupati (knee) and cornerback Tarell Brown (ribs), are inactive. Both have been making progress, and Iupati in particular seems close to returning, perhaps for next week's showdown against the Seahawks at Candlestick Park. Adam Snyder will start in place of Iupati; Tramaine Brock will start for Brown.

With McLeod Bethel-Thompson now on the practice squad, this is the first game in the Jim Harbaugh era that the 49ers haven't had three quarterbacks on the active roster. Asked who would be the emergency quarterback in the rare instance that both Colin Kaepernick and Colt McCoy were injured, Harbaugh said he didn't know. Boldin was a quarterback in high school.

49ers inactives:
WR Quinton Patton
CB Tarell Brown
G Mike Iupati
TE Garrett Celek
WR Jon Baldwin
DE Quinton Dial
DE Tank Carradine

Rams inactives
RB Daryl Richardson
LB Daren Bates
G Harvey Dahl
C Barrett Jones
T Mike Person
DT Jermello Cudjo
DE Gerald Rivers

-- Matt Barrows


Matt was born in Blacksburg, Va., and attended the University of Virginia. He graduated in 1995, went to Northwestern for a journalism degree a year later, and got his first job at a South Carolina daily in 1997. He joined The Bee as a Metro reporter in 1999 and started covering the 49ers in 2003. His favorite player of all time is Darrell Green.


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