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49ers’ Crabtree Being Investigated

Why the Niners' go-to receiver may be under added pressure while playing for the right to go to the Super Bowl Sunday.

The San Francisco Chronicle has reported that San Francisco wide receiver Michael Crabtree is being investigated in a sex-assault case.

The newspaper released the following Friday:

San Francisco police have interviewed 49ers wide receiver Michael Crabtree about allegations that he sexually assaulted a woman after the team's victory last weekend.

The alleged attack occurred at an unnamed hotel early Sunday, hours after the team's victory over the Green Bay Packers.

The incident is being investigated by the Special Victims Unit, whose detectives have interviewed Crabtree with his lawyer present. Crabtree has agreed to make himself available for possible further interviews.

The 25-year-old player – who has not been detained or arrested – is expected to play in Sunday's NFC Championship Game against the Atlanta Falcons.

General manager Trent Baalke said the team is aware of the allegations.

"The 49ers take such matters very seriously," he said in a statement. "We will have no further comment at this time as the legal process is ongoing."

The 49ers selected Crabtree with the 10th overall pick in the 2009 NFL draft. In the NFC divisional playoff game against the Packers, he had nine receptions for 119 yards and two touchdowns.

One should always take caution when reading into these types of situations. It's not completely uncommon for groupies — associated with the professional athlete — to attempt to blackmail their way into players' salaries. Not giving Crabtree the complete benefit of the doubt either, this will unquestionably be at least a small distraction in the 49ers NFC championship game against the Falcons Sunday, and if Crabtree were found guilty, would no doubt knock the 49ers' offensive chemistry off balance for quite some time.

The 49ers are tied for second most Super Bowl wins all-time, but haven't made the big game since 1995.

Crabtree had a breakout season in 2012 in which he eclipsed 1,000 yards for the first time. He also had 119 yards and two TDs against the Green Bay Packers in San Francisco's divisional playoff win last weekend.

Josh Helmuth is the editor for CraveOnline Sports. You can follow him on Twitter @JHelmuth or subscribe at Facebook.com/CraveOnlineSports.

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