"He was coming in motion, planted and started a route and he said it felt like someone kicked him in the Achilles -- that's what most people say that feels like," 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh said, referring to Crabtree's torn Achilles tendon. "Good news is he woke up from the surgery and the first thing he asked the doctor was how it went."
Running back Kendall Hunter had the same injury late last season, but the recovery won't be treated the same because of the timeframe involved, Harbaugh said.
With Crabtree out, second-year receiver A.J. Jenkins immediately takes on a more important role. The team's first-round pick in 2012 did not make a catch in his rookie season, spending most of the year inactive.
Jenkins said last season was "very humbling."
He came into OTAs at 196 pounds with the goal to get to 200 by the time the season begins.
"I was just working my butt off trying to put on some pounds and gain some weight this offseason," Jenkins said.
San Francisco traded with Baltimore for Anquan Boldin in the offseason after he caught 65 passes for 921 yards and four touchdowns for the Ravens in the regular season. Boldin went on to catch 22 passes for 380 yards and four touchdowns in the playoffs, including six for 104 yards and a score against the 49ers in the Super Bowl.
Boldin is not at the 49ers facility this week because of a prior commitment.
Two of San Francisco's other receivers -- Mario Manningham (knee) and Kyle Williams (knee) -- are coming off season-ending injuries but are expected to be back by the start of the season, if not earlier.
The team drafted Quinton Patton out of Louisiana Tech in the fourth round and it also returns Chad Hall, who finished the season on the 53-man roster, and Ricardo Lockette, who spent the majority of last season on the practice squad.
Crabtree was targeted more than twice as often as the 49ers' next most targeted player last season (Vernon Davis), but even without him quarterback Colin Kaepernick is remaining positive.
"We have a lot of talent out here," Kaepernick said. "We have a lot of great players."
49ers coach Jim Harbaugh will drive the pace car at the Indianapolis 500 on May 26. The co-owner of Panther racing has had ties to the sport since his playing days with the Colts.
"As a longtime racing fan and someone who has always followed the Indianapolis 500, the honor to drive the Pace Car comes as a tremendous thrill," Harbaugh said. "Doing it in the all-new 2014 Corvette Stingray makes it even better. It's an iconic car leading an iconic race … I know my heart is going to be beating out of my chest."
Panther Racing has used Harbaugh's No. 4 from his playing days with the Colts as the number for their car. J.R. Hildebrand starts 10th Sunday for the team in the No. 4 National Guard car. Panther racing also has Oriol Servia (13th) and Townsend Bell (22nd) in the race.
Cornerback Carlos Rogers said he remains a starter with the team, but acknowledged the team didn't sign Nmamdi Asomugha to sit on the bench.
"He's going to have a big role, they brought him in for a reason," Rogers said. "I feel I'm the left corner on this team, and I'm going to start on this team."
Which seems to mean Rogers believed Asomugha will compete for the right corner position with Tarell Brown or for a role in nickel packages with Chris Culliver.
"It's not a big deal right now. We're focused on this season and getting to this year's Super Bowl. Then we'll get to next year. … It's nice. It's going to be exciting for the fans and for the community. … But that's our goal, that's where we want to be. We definitely want to end up there again."—Bruce Miller on the city landing Super Bowl L.
A closer look at the 49ers' picks:
Round 1/18—Eric Reid, S, 6-1, 213, LSU
It was no surprise when the 49ers went safety to open their draft. With Dashon Goldson departed, it was the only open starting position left on the team. Reid was the team's top-rated safety and he should step in and make an impact from Day 1.
Round 2/40—Cornellius (Tank) Carradine, DL, 6-4, 276, Florida State
In drafting Tank Carradine, general manager Trent Baalke set the tone for the rest of the draft. The team needed to address its pass rush and due to its abundance of picks and few gaps, they were willing to draft players with injury problems. Carradine should be able to work into sub packages in his rookie year.
Round 2/55—Vance McDonald, TE, 6-4, 267, Rice
Many had Zach Ertz pegged to the 49ers, but McDonald has a lot of similar traits. He's able to play in the slot and the converted wide receiver is a matchup nightmare for both corners and linebackers.
Round 3/88—Corey Lemonier, DE, 6-3, 255, Auburn
Lemonier will compete with the likes of Cam Johnson for a role as a rotational pass rusher. Played defensive end at Auburn, but fits better as an outside linebacker in the 49ers' 3-4 defense.
Round 4/128—Quinton Patton, WR, 6-0, 204, Louisiana Tech
Given a second-round grade by some talent evaluators, Patton was the key cog in the nation's highest scoring offense. He caught 104 passes for 1,392 yards and 13 touchdowns and could push A.J. Jenkins for playing time.
Round 4/131—Marcus Lattimore, CB, 5-11, 221, South Carolina
Steal of the draft? If Lattimore was completely healthy, he would have been the draft's top running back. With Frank Gore, LaMichael James, Kendall Hunter making up an impressive backfield, the 49ers have the luxury of bring Lattimore back slowly.
Round 5/157—Quinton Dial, DL, 6-5, 318, Alabama
A former junior college player, Dial has potential to add depth, but he lacks the elite athleticism to factor into the rotation right away.
Round 6/180—Nick Moody, OLB, 6-1, 236, Florida State
The safety convert is expected to contribute on special teams. Played in tandem with second-round pick Tank Carradine in college.
Round 7/237—B.J. Daniels, QB, 5-11, 216, South Florida
Athletic quarterback has a chance to become a viable option running the spread-option plays the 49ers use with Colin Kaepernick. Will have a tough time beating out Colt McCoy and Scott Tolzien for the final quarterback spot.
Round 7/246—Carter Bykowski, CB, 6-7, 303, Iowa State
Has the ideal frame to play outside, but with the 49ers' depth, Bykowski is a longshot to make the roster. Should be considered a practice-squad candidate.
Round 7/252—Marcus Cooper, CB, 6-2, 192, Rutgers
Adds to the competition at corner, but with the signing of Nnamdi Asomugha in free agency and the return of every starter, Cooper, too, should be considered a practice-squad option.
G Leonard Davis is destined for a role similar to the one he held this season. It'll be tough for him to find a starting role at 34 years old after not seeing regular playing time the last two seasons.
LB Tavares Gooden was solid in his limited role as a special teams fixture.
LB Larry Grant has been solid when given the opportunities to play on defense, but behind NaVorro Bowman and Patrick Willis, Grant's future on defense is elsewhere. He has been suspended for the first four games of the 2013 season.
LB Clark Haggans wasn't used on special teams and rarely appeared on defense. It'd be a surprise if he returns.
WR Randy Moss was a decoy and mentor, for the most part. Moss did what the team brought him in to do. Without Kyle Williams and Mario Manningham, his lack of production became more glaring than it would have without their injuries. He will not be re-signed.
WR Quinton Patton (4/128): 4 yrs, terms unknown.
DT Quinton Dial (5/157): $2.34M/4 yrs, $181,000 SB.
LB Nick Moody (6/180): 4 yrs, terms unknown.
QB B.J. Daniels (7/237): $2.207M/4 yrs, $46,512SB.
T Carter Bykowski (7/246): $2.206M/4 yrs, $45,896 SB.
CB Marcus Cooper (7/252): $2/206M/4 yrs, $45,896 SB.
CB Tramaine Brock: RFA tendered at $1.323M with no compensation); 1 yr, terms unknown.
S Darcel McBath: Not tendered as RFA; 1 yr, terms unknown.
CB Nnamdi Asomugha: FA Eagles; $1.35M/1 yr.
WR Anquan Boldin (trade).
S Craig Dahl: UFA Rams; $5.25M/3 yrs, $700,000 SB.
K Phil Dawson: UFA Browns; $2.25M/1 yr, $1M SB.
DE Glenn Dorsey: UFA Chiefs; $6M/2 yrs, $2.285M SB.
QB Colt McCoy (trade Browns).
WR Marlon Moore: Not tendered as RFA by Dolphins; 1 yr, terms unknown.
LB Dan Skuta: UFA Bengals; $3M/2 yrs, $300,000 SB.
OL Adam Snyder: UFA Arizona Cardinals; 2 yrs, terms unknown.
K David Akers (released/failed physical).
WR/KR Ted Ginn: UFA Panthers; 1 yr, terms unknown.
S Dashon Goldson: UFA Buccaneers; $41.25M/5 yrs, $22M guaranteed.
DT Ricky Jean Francois: UFA Colts; $22M/4 yrs, $8.5M guaranteed/$6.5M fully guaranteed.
QB Alex Smith (traded).
NT Isaac Sopoaga: UFA Eagles; $11M/3 yrs.
TE Delanie Walker: UFA Titans; $17.5M/4 yrs.