THE BLOG
11/07/2013 12:42 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

49ers Ready for Work After Bye, Players Activated

2013-11-07-Smith.JPG
Photo by San Francisco 49ers

San Francisco, CA -- It's back to business for the Forty-Niners. After an overseas trip to London to host the Jacksonville Jaguars, followed with a bye week, it's back to work. The second half of the season begins and this time, the 49ers maybe better than before. The missing pieces to the puzzle have finally come together.

Leading sack leader Aldon Smith was activated to the 53-man roster last week and practiced with the team for the first time since his departure. Just six weeks ago, Smith's life spiraled downward after being arrested two days before his final game when San Francisco lost to the Indianapolis Colts September 22. The team announced Aldon would be on an indefinite leave to handle his problems.

"I've gotten a lot of support, from my family, friends, the organization, teammates and everything," Smith said. "It really says a lot that people care about me outside the field, that they care about me as a person... We could all look into our lives and find something that we need to work on. I've taken my time and I've done that."

A fresh faced, new look Aldon addressed the media this past Tuesday before practice and kept a smile while he was floored with questions. Despite the team's five-game winning streak, he still leads the team with 4.5 sacks. Leaving the past behind him, Smith talks about his focus away from football and now being back on track to finish out the second half of the season.

"I've grown a lot and I'm still growing," he explained. "I came into the league on the young side of things, and I've just taken away every free chance I've gotten to get better and grow. Being away from my teammates and the guys here in the locker room was difficult, but it worked out. I was able to get away and clear my head."

"Since he came in, he's been very productive for our defense, a play-maker for our defense and to get him back is a good thing," Patrick Willis said. "With his absence, we were able to develop some depth and I think that's really going to be a strong point for us."

For the first time this season, Michael Crabtree has been cleared to rejoin the team. Suffering a torn Achilles during Organized Team Activities back in June, Crabtree has returned to practice this week. While there is no timetable on his return, he could possible see action within the next two weeks depending on how well he'll do practicing with Colin Kaepernick and the first team.

"Good to have him back, you know 15 eligible," said head coach Jim Harbaugh before practice yesterday. "Everybody kind of watches out of the corner of their eyes, they're doing their drills and it's neat to see any player that comes back from a serious injury. Understanding the grueling rehab that's taken place. The mental toughness, grinding through those rehab sessions to be where they are now and that's an exciting day when they trot out there in uniform and start taking reps."

The 49ers also activated Mario Manningham and Eric Wright. Manningham will make his season debut this Sunday when the team hosts the Carolina Panthers. Using his time wisely, the WR is getting back to form to catch up to his quarterback. This will give Kaepernick more options on offense as oppose to always finding Vernon Davis and Anquan Boldin open. Recovering from a surgically repaired left knee, Mario is determined to fit right back in.

"Now, I just have to show up in a game, get bumped around a bit and I'll be right back to where I was, " Manningham said."

For the first time this season, Michael Crabtree has been cleared to rejoin the team. Suffering a torn Achilles during Organized Team Activities back in June, Crabtree has returned to practice this week. While there is no timetable on his return, he could possible see action within the next two weeks depending on how well he'll do practicing with Colin Kaepernick and the first team.

"Good to have him back, you know 15 eligible," said head coach Jim Harbaugh before practice yesterday. "Everybody kind of watches out of the corner of their eyes, they're doing their drills and it's neat to see any player that comes back from a serious injury. Understanding the grueling rehab that's taken place. The mental toughness, grinding through those rehab sessions to be where they are now and that's an exciting day when they trot out there in uniform and start taking reps."

The 49ers also activated Mario Manningham and Eric Wright. Manningham will make his season debut this Sunday when the team host the Carolina Panthers. Using his time wisely, the WR is getting back to form to catch up to his quarterback. This will give Kaepernick more options on offense as oppose to finding vernon Davis and Anquan Boldin always open. Recovering from a surgically repaired left knee, Mario is determined to fit right back in.

"Now, I just have to show up in a game,get bumped around a bit and I'll be right back to where I was, " Manningham said."