San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Michael Crabtree will be sidelined for the opening of training camp for the third straight year, this time with a foot injury that leaves his status for the preseason uncertain.
The 49ers proclaimed Thursday night that Crabtree will be located on the physically incapable to perform list. He was bothered by a foot damage that required him out of informal workouts this summer guided by quarterback Alex Smith.
He too failed to spot the training camp his rookie season because of a lengthy agreement dispute. He sat out all four preseason games last year with a neck injury.
New coach Jim Harbaugh was set to hold his first practice on Friday. The 49ers too will be without rookie fullback Bruce Miller and receiver Dominique Zeigler. The group did not reveal their injuries.
Crabtree’s absence will put one more dent in Harbaugh’s preseason plans.
Free agent Smith, expected to re-sign with the group on Friday, is not permitted to practice or participate in any physical activities with the group until the latest NFL year starts on August 4. With running back Frank Gore so far to report for camp, the three most important pieces of the offense are left out.
Maybe nobody could employ a full preseason more than Crabtree. Missing training camp in 2009 slowed his rookie transition, and last season the timing among Crabtree and Smith was off early. Crabtree rallied strong to complete with 741 yards getting and six touchdowns, but the 49ers completed 6-10 and missed the playoffs for the eight straight year.
Crabtree got off to another rocky start this summer when he complained of sore feet a workout at San Jose State led by Smith and he just participated in gatherings after the first day during the informal minicamp. He too openly challenged Smith’s status as the starter when he arrived and downplayed the quarterback’s labors to systematize the workouts.
The 10th overall pick in the 2009 draft held out that training camp waiting to endorse his contract. He accepted a six-year contract with $17 million guaranteed after a 71-day stalemate between Crabtree and the group.