Mike Singletary is sticking to the company line: San Francisco's coach remains focused on the players who are in camp for the 49ers and isn't busy worrying when top draft pick Michael Crabtree will end his holdout and finally show up for practice.
With one week of training camp already complete, each day the standout receiver from Texas Tech misses puts him further behind in learning a new offense and becoming familiar with his teammates.
"In terms of Crabtree, when he comes in, he comes in," Singletary said Friday. "Would you love to have him in? Absolutely. You'd love to have him. Do we want him here? Yes, we want to have him in. But until that happens, I just can't sit back and think about the what-ifs. All I can do is concentrate on what is, and control that."
The Niners' receiving corps took another hit to its depth chart with the loss of Brandon Jones for eight weeks because of a small fracture in his right shoulder. Jones, who underwent X-rays on Friday, was injured during Thursday's late practice trying to make a diving catch while all alone in the end zone during 7-on-7 work.
Singletary still believes he has the depth at wideout to get by, for now at least. The team's first exhibition game is next Friday night against the Denver Broncos.
San Francisco did add receiver Chris Francies on Friday, releasing defensive lineman and former Stanford star Babatunde Oshinowo to make roster room. Francies spent time on the Saints' practice squad late last season after being released by Green Bay.
"This is not a political speech, it's just the truth," Singletary said. "We've got wide receivers that (coach) Jerry Sullivan is working his tail off with them. They're growing, progressing, so we're fine for right now."
With Jones' injury and Crabtree's absence _ the sides apparently were far apart Friday _ there's an opportunity for Dominique Zeigler and Arnaz Battle to make the team and play a role.
Still, with everything on his plate, Singletary gets a daily reminder that Crabtree isn't around. There are constant questions about the receiver's status and unresolved contract situation.
A report surfaced Thursday that the 10th overall pick was prepared to sit out all season, re-enter the draft in 2010 and wait for the money he thinks he deserves _ comparable to that of Oakland Raiders rookie Darrius Heyward-Bey, the seventh overall pick who last week signed a five-year contract that will guarantee him at least $23.5 million.
ESPN.com quoted Crabtree's cousin and adviser, David Wells, about the possibility of a yearlong holdout. The 49ers then released a statement saying, "In our view, there have been open and positive conversations on both sides."
Singletary figures Crabtree is studying the playbook on his own to begin learning new offensive coordinator Jimmy Raye's system. Will he be able to make up ground in a hurry if he returns to the field?
"Well, you just never know," Singletary said. "It all depends on how his learning curve is. If I know him, he's working his tail off, he's studying the playbook. But it doesn't really come together until you come out here and execute it. But hopefully when he comes in the learning curve is not as great as it may take some others. Hopefully he'll just catch right on and go from there."
Crabtree's future teammates believe he needs to make an appearance soon _ if he wants to make an immediate impact. Tight end Vernon Davis planned to reach out to Crabtree either by phone or via text message.
"That's not really my concern as far as him negotiating his contract," Davis said. "I would love for Crabtree to get in so he can have a chance to get better and help the team out. I'm pretty sure we can use his help and his play-making ability. Hey, until he gets here, we definitely have the players and playmakers to get it done."
NOTES: LB Parys Haralson returned to team drills for the first time since sustaining a right hip flexor injury in the opening practice Aug. 1. ... LB Patrick Willis (ankle strain) is still out after getting hurt on the first day of camp. ... CB Tarell Brown is also out with a toe injury. ... LB Jay Moore returned to the field from a cut finger that sidelined him the past three days.