NFC West powers get healthy down the season stretch


Both the 49ers and Seahawks are getting healthy in the NFC West.

In Seattle, receiver Percy Harvin returned to practice Wednesday for the first time since undergoing August hip surgery, and the team's two starting offensive tackles -- Russell Okung and Breno Giacomini -- also participated. All three could see time Sunday against the Minnesota Vikings.

In San Francisco, wide receiver Mario Manningham saw the field in Week 10, and the 49ers haven't ruled out Michael Crabtree for the team's Week 11 meeting with the New Orleans Saints.

Asked Wednesday if Crabtree might be added to the 53-man roster this week, coach Jim Harbaugh told reporters, "We'll see."

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"I'm not going to make any predictions today ... but we've been encouraged with his progress and there's other options as well," Harbaugh said, per CSN Bay Area.

A roster spot exists because the 49ers waived receiver Kyle Williams this week, and Crabtree -- tucked away on the reserve/physically unable to perform list -- has been cleared to practice just six months after suffering a torn Achilles.

Crabtree isn't likely to return to form out of the gate, but his presence would be welcomed by quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who has struggled to make hay with his outside targets:

NFL Media's Bucky Brooks broke down Kaepernick's uneven campaign, noting that the "lack of speed and explosiveness on the perimeter" is a primary reason for the young passer's struggles. It's unfair to expect a fully operational Crabtree until, frankly, next season, but his return to the lineup will be welcomed by a team clawing for every inch in the rugged NFC West.

The latest "Around The League Podcast" previewed "Thursday Night Football" and "stuck a fork" in the Bills' 2013 chances.