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October 15, 2013
Wide receiver savior? Not so fast, Manningham says

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Both Mario Manningham and Eric Wright said it felt good to finally join their teammates in practice today. They had different reactions, however, on when they'd be ready to help the team on game days.

Wright, who had been on the non-football injury/illness list, said he was in good shape. "The first step was getting out there and running around a little bit," the cornerback said. "I felt pretty good, so we'll see how it all unfolds."

A silver lining to missing nearly half the season, he said, is that he's not dealing with the nicks and ailments his teammates have. "You go out there and have a fresh body, so to speak, in Week 7 of the season -- that's really not normal," he said.

Manningham, meanwhile, suffered two knee ligament tears in December. He said one of his goals was getting his confidence back after suffering what he said was the worst injury of his career.

The 49ers have not received much production from any other wide receiver other than Anquan Boldin this season. But it didn't sound as if Manningham would be a savior - at least not right away.

Asked if he'd go through a full practice this week, Manningham preached caution.
"I just got cleared yesterday, man," he said with a smile. "I can't do a whole practice. I'll just ease my way into it."

Though Wright did not pass a physical with the 49ers in July, it apparently was not due to a physical issue. Wright instead dealt with what the team described as a personal matter. He's been arrested for DUI in Los Angeles twice since July 2012. The first case was dropped by the local district attorney; the DA has yet to decide whether to charge Wright in the more recent case, misdemeanor DUI, which occurred in July

Asked why he failed the 49ers' physical, Wright gave a vague answer: "Just all of us, generally, we have personal responsibilities," the San Francisco native said. "We all have families. Not all of us, but we have kids and different things like that. We're responsible for a lot of things ... . So I'm just grateful for this opportunity to be playing for my hometown team and playing for such a storied franchise. And pretty much being able to live out my dream."

-- Matt Barrows



MATTHEW 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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