Michael Crabtree was activated from the physically unable to perform list on Tuesday and Jim Harbaugh said the wide receiver is expected to make his season debut on Sunday when the 49ers host the St. Louis Rams.
Crabtree, 26, hasn't played in 2013 since suffering an Achilles tear during organized team activities in May. Now six months removed from surgery, he was finally healthy enough to be activated from the PUP list. If he wasn't activated on Tuesday, he would have reverted to the injured reserve list and been ineligible to return this season.
With just 173.5 passing yards per game, the 49ers rank last in the league at moving the ball through the air, making the return of Crabtree a highly anticipated one for the team. In 2012, Crabtree led the team with 85 receptions for 1,105 yards and nine touchdowns.
He also managed 20 receptions for 285 yards and three touchdowns in the postseason that ended with a 34-31 loss in the Super Bowl. The 49ers are tied with the Arizona Cardinals for the final wild card spot in the NFC, although a Week 6 victory has San Francisco currently in control of the tiebreaker.