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49ers notify NFL of WR Crabtree participation
SANTA CLARA, CALIF. (AP) - The San Francisco 49ers notified the NFL on Monday that wide receiver Michael Crabtree caught a couple dozen passes during warmups while still on the physically unable to perform list.
Team spokesman Bob Lange said the club immediately reported the “oversight” to the league office after it happened Monday afternoon. It’s unclear whether the Niners will be penalized.
NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said the league was investigating the situation.
Crabtree, the 10th overall draft pick in 2009 out of Texas Tech, has missed his third straight preseason while nursing a left foot injury.
“The 49ers immediately notified the league office regarding the oversight that occurred earlier today when Michael Crabtree caught passes during warmups,” Lange said.
Coach Jim Harbaugh said Sunday he hopes to have the wideout back in an official capacity this week, though Crabtree wasn’t in uniform when he caught throws from Alex Smith at the start of practice before general manager Trent Baalke intervened and had Crabtree stop participating and then leave the area.
“We are looking into it. We appreciate Trent Baalke contacting our office to report what happened,” Aiello said in an e-mail. “Our understanding is that it occurred during warmups and that Michael Crabtree did not participate in practice.”
Crabtree hurt his foot during workouts led by quarterback Smith in June during the lockout. He missed the 2010 preseason with a neck injury a year after a 71-day contract stalemate as a rookie.
He hasn’t talked to reporters so far this preseason.
The 23-year-old Crabtree, who has long had the reputation of being a diva, had 55 catches for 741 yards and six touchdowns last year during San Francisco’s 6-10 season.
He was angrily confronted by tight end Vernon Davis during an early September practice last year and then-coach Mike Singletary had to step between them.
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