Thoughts on Michael Crabtree's timeline

SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- What should we make of the fact that Michael Crabtree was not spotted during the time media was present at the start of the San Francisco 49ers practice the past two days?

Nothing at this point.

Before practice Thursday, San Francisco offensive coordinator Greg Roman said Crabtree did not suffer a setback as he tries to return from a torn Achilles. In fact, Roman said Crabtree is "progressing nicely.” Recovery time is part of Crabtree's program.

Because he is not on the roster, the 49ers don't have to reveal much about Crabtree's health these days. So, all we can do is take Roman's word for it.

Logically, though, if he is taking the two longest practices days of the week off to recover, it likely means Crabtree will not play Sunday at New Orleans. But that seemed like a longshot, anyway.

Even if the recovery days mount, I'd be surprised if Crabtree isn't activated to the 53-man roster by the Nov. 26 deadline. He'd have to have a pretty significant setback for that to happen. However, if he is activated, there is no guarantee that he plays right away. I think it is on the table that he could be inactive for a couple of weeks if these recovery days turn out to be anything.

Again, we are reduced to speculating here. Hey, it's even a possibility that this could be one big reverse job by the 49ers and Crabtree will be activated this weekend.

We are just going to have to wait and see how it all develops.