In some great news today, the San Francisco 49ers announced that wide receiver Michael Crabtree has been cleared to return to practice. He will join the team on the practice field on Tuesday. This begins the 21-day countdown to when he has to be activated to the 53-man roster. He can be activated before the end of 21 days, but this provides up to three weeks to figure out just when he's ready.
His return to practice now is notable because they had two more weeks to start practicing. This would seem to indicate team doctors are comfortable with where he stands in his rehab process. 21 days from now is November 26, which means he will be back on the 53-man roster no later than the day after the team's Monday Night Football contest against Washington.
There has been a lot of talk about a mid-to-late November return. My projection earlier last month was that we would probably see him back on the field for the Rams game. It seems unlikely we would see him this weekend against Carolina. The team then goes to New Orleans and Washington the following weeks. The Saints play on the Superdome turf, while Washington's field is a notorious messy experience. The Rams game would be back home. This gets him back for the 49ers fans, and also gets him a week to prepare for what should be a very physical game with the Seattle Seahawks.
Six weeks ago, many of us were wondering what the heck was going on as the team sat 1-2. Just like that, the 49ers are 6-2, and getting healthy when it matters most. Things just got a little more interesting! (And site decorum is off for this glorious bit of news)