Gauging Crabtree's development on the field is even more difficult.
The team has remained vague about the wide receiver's status, and the 20 minutes or so reporters were allowed to watch individual drills at the beginning of practice Thursday only muddled the matter more.
Crabtree gingerly ran several slants and over-the-middle patterns. He never showed any burst — of course, there was no defense, so he never really had to. He caught at least two passes from Kaepernick, but also made little effort for an overthrown pass from third-stringer McLeod Bethel-Thompson.
"Looks like Mike's always looked," Roman said.
The 49ers are preaching patience with Crabtree's return. He has made major strides since tearing his right Achilles tendon in 7-on-7 drills during an organized team activity May 21 and having surgery soon after.