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49ers notes: Harbaugh ‘anticipates’ Crabtree playing against Rams

Published: Monday, Nov. 25, 2013 - 11:49 pm
Last Modified: Tuesday, Nov. 26, 2013 - 7:05 am

LANDOVER, MD. Jim Harbaugh has been coy about Michael Crabtree’s return for nearly month, but he said Monday he “anticipates” Crabtree playing Sunday when the 49ers host the Rams.

“Crabtree’s coming back (this) week, and hopefully, we get a few other guys back,” Harbaugh said after the 49ers’ 27-6 victory over the Redskins. “Because we need them all.”

Asked if that meant Crabtree, the team’s leading receiver in 2012, would get on the field against St. Louis, Harbaugh laughed and said, “I anticipate he’s going to come back (this) week.”

Crabtree, who suffered a torn Achilles’ tendon on May 21, returned to practice three weeks ago but has not been taken off the physically unable to perform list. That will happen today when he’s added to the 53-man roster.

Crabtree easily was Colin Kaepernick’s favorite target last season when he finished with 1,105 yards and nine touchdowns. He promises to be a welcome addition to a lineup that has had only two true threats in the passing game, wide receiver Anquan Boldin and tight end Vernon Davis. Boldin and Davis remain the only 49ers with touchdown receptions this season.

Defense dominant – The 49ers allowed the Redskins to drive 62 yards late in the first half and kick a field as the second period expired. They didn’t allow much after that.

Washington gained one first down in the second half and was 0 for 6 on third down, and quarterback Robert Griffin III was sacked four times.

Linebacker NaVorro Bowman said the 49ers were caught off guard when the Redskins went with a no-huddle offense in the second quarter but that they adjusted at halftime. Linebacker Patrick Willis led the 49ers with 11 tackles; Bowman was second with nine.

“If you give us all your moves, man, we’re a good-enough defense to adjust at halftime, make the right corrections and still have a good game,” Bowman said. “And that’s what we did.”

Smith sacks again – Aldon Smith recorded his first sack since Week 3 when he beat left tackle Trent Williams off the line of scrimmage and took down Griffin for an 8-yard loss. Smith sacked Griffin again in the fourth quarter.

Smith now has 6½ sacks , second on the team to fellow outside linebacker Ahmad Brooks, who has 8½ after he also sacked Griffin twice.

For the third straight game, Dan Skuta, not Smith, started the game at right outside linebacker. But Smith played more snaps than he has in the previous two contests and finished with three tackles and four hits on the quarterback.

Skuta and rookie Corey Lemonier filled in for Smith during his month-long stay in a substance abuse treatment center.

Et cetera – Former 49ers wide receiver Josh Morgan started for injured Leonard Hankerson for Washington. Morgan had five catches for 45 yards, all in the first half.

Guard Mike Iupati’s knee injury meant Joe Looney, a fourth-round pick in 2012, was in uniform for the first time in his career. Adam Snyder started at left guard for Iupati. Looney and running back LaMichael James are the only members of the 49ers’ 2012 draft still on the team.

In the third quarter, the game’s scorekeeper credited Griffin with a run of minus-2 yards. The 49ers will challenge that ruling, and if successful, defensive end Justin Smith will be credited with a sack.


Read Matthew Barrows’ blogs at www.sacbee.com/sf49ers and listen for his reports Tuesdays on ESPN Radio 1320.

Read more articles by Matthew Barrows



MATTHEW 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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