Michael Crabtree's return would be 'gravy,' OC says


Offensive coordinator Greg Roman has a sobering message for San Francisco 49ers fans wary of their wide receivers' inability to win versus man coverage: Michael Crabtree is not walking through that door.

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Roman made it clear via the 49ers' official website that there is not yet a timetable for Crabtree's return from Achilles tendon surgery.

"If we can get him back this year," Roman added Tuesday, "that'd be gravy."

Although Demaryius Thomas' complete recovery from Achilles surgery bodes well for Crabtree's future, the Denver Broncos receiver has cautioned that he didn't feel 100 percent again until seven months after suffering the injury. He wasn't a significant factor in his team's offense until closer to 10 months removed from surgery.

If Crabtree mirrors Thomas' recovery, he won't be eased back into game action until Thanksgiving at the earliest. He shouldn't expect to begin recapturing pre-injury form until deep in the playoffs -- or even next offseason.

In the meantime, the innovative 49ers coaching staff will be under pressure to scheme ways to get the wide receivers open so Colin Kaepernick can stick it to his Twitter haters.

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