Niners' Crabtree says he's good to go after missing preseason

SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- Michael Crabtree's sore neck is much better, he insists he's ready to play after missing the entire preseason and last week's spat with teammate Vernon Davis is long since done.

Crabtree, the second-year San Francisco 49ers wide receiver, will start his first season opener Sunday at Seattle. He didn't join the team until October last season after a 71-day contract stalemate.

As Crabtree formally addressed the local media Thursday for the first time since the start of training camp Aug. 1, Davis came up behind him and kissed him on the back of his right shoulder and rubbed his head.

"Michael, good to see you, buddy," Davis said to Crabtree, who didn't seem too amused by the gesture.

Davis let his teammate have it in front of everybody during a practice last week, and 49ers coach Mike Singletary had to step between them before taking both players to the locker room for a talk.

"It was a matter of being a team captain. All I was doing was taking care of my responsibilities and doing my job," Davis explained after last Thursday's 17-14 preseason victory over the San Diego Chargers.

Crabtree didn't want to get into specifics about the altercation or the cause behind it. Davis said he was frustrated by some things Crabtree did that he "didn't like."

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"Ah, man, it was just something inside, you know," said Crabtree, the 10th overall draft pick in the 2009 draft. "Something I just really don't want to talk about it because it's not a problem. By me talking about it, it's going to make it a problem. It's nothing."

Crabtree has enough to worry about, considering he didn't play during the preseason and many already are wondering whether his timing with quarterback Alex Smith will be affected come Sunday at noisy Qwest Field.

Crabtree made his NFL debut in the 49ers' sixth game last season at Houston. He finished his rookie campaign with 48 catches for 625 yards and two touchdowns, then impressed the coaches and Smith with his work ethic during the offseason.

Crabtree hurt his neck leading up to the 49ers' preseason opener at Indianapolis and was limited mostly to individual work in practice when he did participate after the injury.

Offensive coordinator Jimmy Raye said Thursday that he is concerned about Crabtree's stamina once in a game.

"He hasn't played at game speed in any of the exhibition games," Raye said. "And even though a year ago he was not here, he was conditioning. This time, he was here but not getting any conditioning. There's a different tempo from not playing and not practicing to going in to play. That would be my concern at this point. I think he'll do OK with the terminology, the system in the game. It's just how quickly we can get to where he's not maxed out and exhausted."

Crabtree doesn't believe that will be an issue.

"I'm not worried about nothing," he said. "I'm just worried about getting all my plays in in practice, really going out there and playing. I'm getting really tired of talking about what's going to happen. We just need to go out there and play."

Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press

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