49ers Blog and Q&A

News, notes and reader questions about the San Francisco 49ers

October 9, 2011
Bad break for Morgan; 49ers have to consider another WR

The 49ers will have to consider adding another wide receiver to their roster after their leading receiver this season, Josh Morgan, suffered a fractured right ankle. News of Morgan's injury was first reported by CSN Bay Area Sunday night.


Morgan is not nearly the team's biggest name on offense, but he has been the 49ers' most constant receiver in recent years, this year especially. He's started every game this season while Braylon Edwards (knee) and Michael Crabtree (foot) have battled their own injuries. Morgan leads the team's wide receivers with 15 catches for 220 yards and a touchdown. The team's leading pass catcher is a tight end, Vernon Davis, who has 22 receptions for 263 yards and three touchdowns.

Morgan nearly scored again Sunday with just over four minutes left in the game when he connected with rookie Colin Kaepernick along the sideline. Morgan ran toward the end zone but was pulled down awkwardly on his ankle after a 19-yard gain to the Tampa Bay 1-yard line. He had to be carried off the field and onto a stretcher. He held his head in his hand as he was being driven off.

The injury occurred on fourth down with the 49ers ahead 41-3. Asked why the 49ers were still passing at that point, Jim Harbaugh said, "You've got to play. You can't take a knee with four minutes left in the game. It could have been a run. Josh was competing. I think he's going to be okay. Kaepernick is competing. He's got to get to work. We're not taking a knee with four minutes left in the game."

While Crabtree is back to full health, Edwards likely won't return from a torn meniscus suffered Sept. 18 until Oct. 30. It's not known how long Morgan will be out. Next Sunday against Detroit, at least, it appears as if the 49ers will be down to three healthy receivers. The starters likely would be Crabtree and Ted Ginn with second-year player Kyle Williams filling in as the No. 3 receiver.

Three veteran receivers went through training camp with the 49ers: Lance Long, Dominique Zeigler and Kevin Jurovich. All three are available. The team also has two receivers on the practice squad, rookie Joe Hastings and veteran John Matthews. Matthews was signed last week. But he played for Harbaugh at the University of San Diego and is familiar with the offense.

The 49ers also have been giving tryouts to receivers throughout the season. One of the receivers who worked out for the team, Donnie Avery, was signed by Tennessee.

-- Matt Barrows


Matt was born in Blacksburg, Va., and attended the University of Virginia. He graduated in 1995, went to Northwestern for a journalism degree a year later, and got his first job at a South Carolina daily in 1997. He joined The Bee as a Metro reporter in 1999 and started covering the 49ers in 2003. His favorite player of all time is Darrell Green.


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