Braylon Edwards out after knee surgery
SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- 49ers wide receiver Braylon Edwards underwent a surgical procedure on his injured right knee and a league source told ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter that Edwards is likely to miss three weeks.
Coach Jim Harbaugh refused to predict a timetable for Edwards' return or provide further details. The coach had to be pushed to reveal the surgery at all.
"Braylon had a little procedure done, yeah," Harbaugh said Wednesday. "He's going to be out for a little bit. I hate to speculate (how long)."
Edwards limped off with the knee injury after making a 21-yard catch on the 49ers' third play from scrimmage in a 27-24 overtime loss to the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday. It's a tough blow for San Francisco (1-1) as the team hits the road for two weeks, with a stay in Youngstown, Ohio, between Sunday's game at Cincinnati and a Week 4 visit to Philadelphia.
"We just hope he gets a fast recovery so he can get back out here," fellow starting wideout Josh Morgan said. "We know he loves playing this game just as much as we do. With somebody who loves to play the game, you always hate to see him go down with an injury."
The 28-year-old Edwards received a $3.5 million, one-year contract last month, giving San Francisco the strong, athletic wideout it sought to fit into Harbaugh's West Coast offense -- and giving Edwards a much-needed fresh start out West after a tumultuous stint with the New York Jets.
Edwards is 6-foot-3 and 214 pounds and demonstrated his athleticism with a pretty one-handed catch along the sideline in a 17-3 exhibition win over the Oakland Raiders on Aug. 20.
The 49ers will get some reinforcements this week.
Michael Crabtree is expected back on the field against the Bengals after he was inactive last Sunday while nursing a troublesome, surgically repaired left foot that he aggravated again in a Week 1 win over the Seahawks.
"Most likely, yeah," Harbaugh said of Crabtree being active. "I think we have to keep a close eye and monitor, as our doctors and training staff and coaches have."
Crabtree, who said he thought he could have played last week, appeared to be full speed in the open portion Wednesday afternoon's practice. He was listed as limited in the Niners' participation report.
The 10th overall pick in 2009 out of Texas Tech was limited in practice last week after he missed his third straight training camp. He played into the third quarter in San Francisco's 33-17 victory over Seattle in Week 1.
Crabtree has been a combination of defensive, silent and evasive when asked about his injury. He said his foot feels good when he runs routes before the game.
"You're asking me about my foot and back-to-back games," Crabtree said. "It's day by day. It's improving every day. ... I can't go into the future right now. ... You guys ask me the same questions every time. Within three days, not too much will change. I'm really just trying to get it right right now. Of course I want to go out there and play. It's coach's decision. I felt like I could have (played)."
Meanwhile, Vernon Davis and Harbaugh met to discuss the Pro Bowl tight end's postgame comments from Sunday that "we've still got to keep everybody involved." Davis was used more as a blocker than the deep-route threat he has been in recent years.
Davis has seven catches for 65 yards through the first two games. He was targeted only three times against Dallas and made two receptions for 18 yards. The other pass intended for him was intercepted.
"It's a two-way conversation and it was just about football. It wasn't about frustration or anything else that you'd categorize," Harbaugh said. "We talked. Talk to a lot of players every day. ... Conversations are two-way, me and him."
The 27-year-old Davis has been a regular playmaker the past two seasons, making 56 catches for 914 yards and seven touchdowns in 2010. That came after Davis became the highest-paid tight end in NFL history last September when he signed a five-year contract extension that pays him $37 million overall, with $34 million guaranteed.
Davis wants to return to being the dominant player he was in 2009, when he tied Antonio Gates' NFL record for touchdowns by a tight end with 13 and made his first Pro Bowl.
Davis said he faces constant double-teams and agreed with Harbaugh's game plan after watching film from Sunday.
With Edwards sidelined for significant time, Davis said he would handle any receiver's role.
"Whatever I have to do. I strongly believe that Coach Harbaugh and the rest of the staff will do everything that they can to put us in a great situation to make plays -- everybody," Davis said. "Whether it's blocking or catching passes or whatever. I put it in their hands. They've got it. They know what they're doing. I trust and believe in that and just continue to play ball."
"Guys are going to have to step up and be ready to go," quarterback Alex Smith said. "You don't expect this to happen, but it's the game of football and you have to deal with injuries."
Smith on Wednesday practiced despite word he had been examined for a concussion. The QB was sacked six times by Dallas.
In addition, fullback Moran Norris was ruled out for Sunday's game with a fibula injury. He was on crutches and in a walking boot in the locker room.
Information from The Associated Press contributed to this report.