As expected, Michael Crabtree will spend his first two weeks with the 49ers practicing and learning the plays before seeing game action against Houston in Week 7.
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Until Crabtree gets in some semblance of football shape and learns enough of the offense to appear in a limited role once he’s activated, he’ll be putting in time on the scout team, catching passes from Alex Smith.
The challenge for offensive coordinator Jimmy Raye will be to limit the scope of Crabtree’s responsibilities so he can contribute once he’s on the field. His two-week roster exemption ends Oct. 19 and he will be activated for the 49ers’ Oct. 25 game in Houston.
For Sunday’s game at Candlestick Park against Atlanta, the inactive Crabtree will be on the sideline in NFL-sponsored leisure apparel.
“We don’t have space to use him in the offense” in practice, Raye said. “We’ve got to get the people ready who are going to play in the game. So, to get him snaps in the offense at this point would be detrimental to what we’re trying to do.”
Crabtree is expected to be used primarily as a slot receiver on WR-heavy formations once he finally plays.