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Coach John Harbaugh said Monday after the 49ers defeated the Washington Redskins that Crabtree would be activated from the physically unable to perform list Tuesday and he expects the receiver to play Sunday.
“Crabtree’s coming back [this] week, and hopefully, we get a few other guys back,” Harbaugh told reporters, according to the Sacramento Bee. “Because we need them all.”
Crabtree returned to practice Nov. 5 for the first time since tearing his right Achilles tendon on May 21.
By NFL rules, the 49ers had 21 days to decide whether to activate Crabtree to their 53-man roster or shelve him for the season after he returned to practice, making Tuesday the day they had to decide.
The 25-year-old Crabtree, the team’s 10th overall pick in the 2009 draft out of Texas Tech, had career highs last season with 85 receptions for 1,105 yards and nine touchdowns for the NFC champion Niners, who lost 34-31 to the Ravens in the Super Bowl.
In the postseason, Crabtree had 28 receptions for 285 yards and three touchdowns, including one score in the 49ers’ Super Bowl loss to the Baltimore Ravens.
Crabtree also had five TDs and 30 catches on third-down plays last season — both stats among the top five in the NFL.
The 49ers have leaned on Anquan Boldin, who leads the 49ers this season with 53 catches and 724 yards along with five touchdowns, and tight end Vernon Davis, who leads the team in receiving scores (nine) and has 38 receptions for 623 yards.
Injuries to the 49ers’ receiving corps have often been cited for Colin Kaepernick‘s lackluster passing numbers this season, but Mario Manningham (four catches, 45 yards in Monday night’s victory) recently returned to the lineup, and now Crabtree is set to return.
Monday night’s performance, in which Kaepernick threw for 235 yards and three touchdowns, was the first time he has surpassed 200 yards passing since Oct. 13.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.