Joshua Morgan Injury Ends His Season; 49ers Sign Brett Swain As His Replacement

We break down the latest news surrounding Joshua Morgan's fractured ankle. We'll break down the latest news updates on his surgery, 2011 status and potential replacement options. For more on the 49ers, check out Niners Nation.

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11 Total Updates since October 10, 2011
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Josh Morgan Injury Update: Niners WR's Recovery Ahead Of Schedule

San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Josh Morgan spoke with CSN Bay Area’s Matt Maiocco on Wednesday at team headquarters, noting that his recovery timetable is ahead of schedule with his fractured right leg.

Morgan spoke after a workout on Wednesday, mentioning that he will have surgery to remove the screws just above his right ankle in a couple of weeks, then will get back to the football grind with running activities hopefully at the end of December or early January.

Morgan was placed on injured reserve back Oct. 12, three days after he broke his lower leg catching a pass from Colin Kaepernick in the final minutes of the 49ers’ blowout 48-3 victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Morgan is ineligible to return this season.

Morgan, 26, a four-year NFL veteran, is in the final year of his contract. Though Coach Harbuagh feels it a priority to re-sign him for the 2012 season.

For more on the 49ers, head over to Niners Nation.

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49ers Fans Should Want Joshua Morgan Back In 2012

Josh Morgan has always been a player that San Francisco 49ers fans were excited about. Back when he was just "Josh", and not "Joshua", most considered him to be a steal in the draft after he fell due to a character issue or two. None figured he'd be the one to break out in his rookie season, but again, most were of the opinion that the guy had a lot of potential. There was a future for him on the 49ers' receiving corps.

He'd come in and get up respectable yardage, but never did quite break out. Last season, I described Morgan as a receiver who would manage to make one amazing play a game, and make one starting corner look absolutely silly per game, but a player who still would manage to be unremarkable. Each year has been better than the last, but he always did just enough to not leave an impression on you.

Unless he was talking about passes coming down like punts, but then again, every other conversation with Mike Singletary ended up being buzzworthy.

But 2011 has been a lot different. Much was said in the offseason about Jim Harbaugh and his West Coast Offense, and the return of the slant route. Many talked about Michael Crabtree and how he'd fit in with it, but it's Morgan who's excelled thus far. He had a 30-yard touchdown against the Philadelphia Eagles, which sparked the second-half comeback. It came from a short slant that Morgan took straight up the field for a touchdown.

He also caught a couple good passes in the other games, each time looking very quick and agile after catching the ball, and leaping to make some catches at the sidelines, as well. In short, Morgan has looked like the guy who should be breaking out right about now, but he was in late in the game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and, even though it was out of reach and San Francisco had the game in the bag, was injured on a pass play on fourth down.

It sucks, it really does, there's no eloquent way to put it. Morgan was doing much better and appeared to be ahead of Crabtree on the depth chart. His contract is up at the end of the season, and there's probably going to be a bit of a market for Morgan based on, believe it or not, the few games we've played thus far in 2011. It's possible that Harbaugh feels the same way, as he's talked about wanting Morgan back for 2012.

Well, 49ers fans should want him back, too. Maybe in his absence, Crabtree will grow into his top-ten pick billing and Braylon Edwards will earn another contract. That's irrelevant, because Morgan would fit nicely as the third or even second receiver in that situation. His recovery is expected, and if you're a fan, his return should be, too.

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Joshua Morgan To Return To 49ers? Jim Harbaugh Thinks So.

It's unfortunate that the season of Josh Morgan had to end on a meaningless play for the San Francisco 49ers in a blowout victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Morgan was placed on IR today, potentially ending his tenure with the only NFL team he's ever known.

On the bright side though, it doesn't mean that his career with the team is done yet! Morgan's contract runs out at the end of this season, but head coach Jim Harbaugh has made it clear that Morgan is a big priority to be re-signed this offseason. Eric Branch of the San Francisco Chronicle reports.

"Yes, we’ve told him that and we’ll make that a priority," Harbaugh said of re-signing Morgan.

Morgan underwent surgery Monday after breaking a bone in his lower right leg in last week’s win against Tampa Bay. Screws were inserted during surgery, but Harbaugh said Morgan did not suffer ligament damage and his injury is not career-threatening.

"He’ll be back," Harbaugh said, "we have no doubts of that."

Morgan has always been a reliable pass-catching option behind the flashier Michael Crabtree and always productive Vernon Davis. With Braylon Edwards only around for one year and Ted Ginn, Jr. and Kyle Williams still developing, it makes total season for the Niners to concentrate all their resources to bring Morgan back and keep the offense flowing on its upward trend.

To discuss the future of Josh Morgan, head over to Niners Nation.

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Joshua Morgan Officially Placed On Injured Reserve

San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Joshua Morgan has officially been placed on the team's injured reserve list, likely marking the unfortunate end to his 2011-12 season. 

Morgan, the Niners sixth round draft choice (174th overall) in the 2008 NFL Draft,  suited up for all five games this season, racking up 15 receptions for 220 yards and one touchdown along the way. Morgan suffered the injury after catching a pass from backup quarterback Colin Kaepernick late in Sunday's 48-3 win over Tampa Bay, getting pinned between two defenders at the goaline, effectively breaking a bone in his lower leg. 

The team signed Brett Swain with the loss of  Morgan, though actually replacing him will be difficult as he has been apart of the 49er system for a while, and is one of the leaders on this team offensively. Morgan will obviously be around as a leader still on the sideline, but his on the field poise will sorely be missed. Morgan has played in 49 career games (32 starts) and has tallied 131 receptions for 1,764 yards and 9 touchdowns.

For more in depth discussion and analysis of the San Francisco 49ers, head over to Niners Nation to get your fix. 

 

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49ers Sign Brett Swain To Fill In For Injured Joshua Morgan

The San Francicso 49ers have found their man to help alleviate the loss of Joshua Morgan. After going through retreads like Chris Chambers and washups like T.J. Houshmandzadeh (not to mention totally wild possibilities like Terrell Owens or Randy Moss) the Niners settled on a totally nondescript figure that'll probably be more effective than any of the people mentioned above.

Eric Branch of the San Francisco Chronicle reports that the Niners have signed Brett Swain to a one-year contract, and he is a potential immediate contributor at the very least on special teams. Swain spent much of last season on the Green Bay Packers in special teams, and he could come in and provide additional blocking and coverage possibilities for the 49ers. This will additionally allow Ted Ginn Jr. and Kyle Williams to move up the depth chart and become significant contributors. San Francisco will have to clear space, most likely by waiving Colin Jones (another possibility is to put Morgan on IR, but it's not clear that his season is over yet).

Is this going to make the loss of Morgan any easier? No, but San Francisco does still have a diverse first-unit lineup in Michael Crabtree, Braylon Edwards and Vernon Davis that will make life difficult for opposing defense when Alex Smith is on target.

To discuss the Swain signing for the 49ers, head to Niners Nation to talk with fellow San Francisco fans.

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49ers Tryouts: Chris Chambers Being Worked Out To Replace Joshua Morgan

The San Francisco 49ers are trying their best to fill in for wide receiver Joshua Morgan while he recovers from injury, although the candidates they've looked at up to this point have not been of an impressive variety. T.J. Houshmandzadeh is a name more likely to draw chortles than nods of assent. Now the 49ers have gone even further into the wayback machine and pulled out Chris Chambers.

Fantasy football players are probably familiar with the odyssey of Chris Chambers. He's that guy you'd always pick two rounds too high, only to see him get injured at some point and make you wisely question why you ever decided to do fantasy in the first place. Chambers will probably end up doing the same thing to Niners fans here, considering he's 33 years old and has only caught 67 passes the past three seasons. But hey, considering Michael Crabtree, Vernon Davis, and Braylon Edwards will be the focus points of the passing game, all he might need to do is replicate those numbers to be considered a success as a 49er.

For more on the 49ers and their search to replace Morgan, check out Niners Nation.

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49ers Tryouts: T.J. Houshmandzadeh in, Dominique Ziegler out

In light of the injury to receiver Joshua Morgan, the 49ers have scheduled a tryout today with veteran wide receiver T.J. Houshmandzadeh, according to CSNBayArea.com, but will not bring back former 49ers receiver Dominique Ziegler, according to the Sacramento Bee.

Morgan is out with a fractured left leg suffered in the final four minutes of Sunday's 48-3 win over Tampa Bay. The injury is considered to potentially be season-ending and it has put the 49ers into a bind at the wide receiver position. With Braylon Edwards not expected back until Oct. 30, Michael Crabtree, Ted Ginn Jr. and Kyle Williams are the only healthy receivers on the roster.

After eight seasons with the Cincinnati Bengals, Houshmandzadeh spent the past two seasons with the Seattle Seahawks and Baltimore Ravens. His one season with the Seahawks was a successful one statistically with 79 receptions for 911 yards and three touchdowns but he saw a significant drop in production with the Ravens as he finished with 30 receptions for 398 yards and three touchdowns in 16 games but only two starts.

Ziegler played for the 49ers during the preseason but was coming off a torn ACL and was cut.

Morgan is second on the 49ers in receptions and yards behind tight end Vernon Davis.

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Should 49ers Reach Out To Terrell Owens Or Randy Moss To Replace Josh Morgan?

The San Francisco 49ers are going to have to adjust to life without Josh Morgan; the broken bone will ultimately need time to heal, and he'll have to sit on the bench. Jim Harbaugh has said that he'll try and look at to replace Morgan with a free agent  wide receiver until he heals fully. 

While San Francisco has some quiet options that wouldn't make any noise on the free agent wire, there are two high-profile names out there for San Francisco to consider though. Yep, those two. Terrell Owens. Randy Moss. The terror and the horror.

Could Harbaugh make Owens or Moss work?  They've brought in Braylon Edwards, who was considered a bit difficult to deal with in other places, but he's behaved himself in the Bay Area. Owens and Moss are on another level though, with histories of cancerous relationships whereever they've landed. Owens of course burned the Bay Bridge on his way out of San Francisco over seven years back.

More importantly, would the Niners want him?  Owens's best days are behind him, and Moss is likely near the end of his career too. Still, as a reliable third pass-catching option behind Michael Crabtree and Edwards, it's hard to think Moss or Owens couldn't bring something to the table. It's likelier San Francisco goes low profile, but we'll have to wait and see.

To discuss the possibility of Owens or Moss on the Niners, go to Niners Nation.

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Joshua Morgan Injury Update: Broken Bone, Lower Leg

San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Joshua Morgan clearly looked like he'd suffered a significant injury when he went down in the final minutes against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. It wasn't clear how bad the injury was at first glance, but early prognosis out of the Niners locker room did not look good. Morgan is already expected to undergo surgery, which probably means he'll be sitting out for a significant period of time.

Today, Niners head coach Jim Harbaugh clarified the injury situation. Harbaugh said that Morgan's injury wasn't a right ankle fracture, but instead a lower right leg injury involving a broken bone. Matt Maiocco of CSN Bay Area tweets that the injury occurred right above the ankle.  Technically, the right ankle fracture diagnosis could still be correct, but Harbaugh apparently wanted to be as vague as possible when describing the injury.

I would guess that Harbaugh is trying to gain a competitive advantage by letting his opponents know as little as possible about the extent of the Morgan injury. That way defenses would have to gameplan for him down the road when Morgan could be ready to return to play. 

For more discussion of Morgan's injury, Niners Nation is where to go.

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Joshua Morgan Injury Update: 49ers WR Expected To Undergo Surgery Monday, Future Undetermined

49ers wide receiver Joshua Morgan is expected to undergo surgery on Monday to repair his fractured right ankle. Morgan suffered the injury late in the 49ers 48-3 blowout of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The 49ers had a 4th and 3 on the Bucs 20 and decided to go for it with rookie QB Colin Kaepernick rather than kick the field goal.

The length of Morgan's absence has yet to be determined. If the injury is bad enough the team could conceivably place him on injured reserve, thus ending his 2011 season. However, if they think he can return a little later in the season they would not make that move since it is irreversible during the current season.

While they figure that out, they do need to find a receiver for this coming Sunday's game against the Detroit Lions. They currently have three healthy receivers in Michael Crabtree, Ted Ginn Jr. and Kyle Williams. Braylon Edward is still recovering from his own knee surgery back in late September. He is expected back after the week seven bye, but it will be interesting to see if he works his way back before then.

In the meantime, the team has a variety of wide receiver options to consider. They could promote Joe Hastings or John Matthews from their practice squad. They could sign a Dominique Zeigler or Kevin Jurovich who were in camp but didn't make the final roster. Or they could go for a free agent with no experience in the system. Terrell Owens has come up in fan conversation but the odds of that happening are incredibly slim. Zeigler or one of the practice squad guys would seem to be the favorite.

For more on Morgan's injury and the 49ers, check out Niners Nation.

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Josh Morgan Injury Update: Sources Indicate Fractured Right Ankle

The San Francisco 49ers are not really giving any official indication about the status of Josh Morgan. It's a mix of good news and bad news based on who you listen to. But the last report is probably the bleakest.

Head coach Jim Harbaugh didn't seem to reveal much information about Morgan's status when asked about it after the game.

Jim harbaugh said: "Q: What’s the injury status of Joshua Morgan?

HARBAUGH: We’ll see, we’ll see. When we were out there on the field Josh said it was starting to cool down. We’ll get an evaluation."

Mindi Bach of CSN tweeted some interesting news after the game.

No official word on extent of Joshua Morgan's injury. He left locker room on crutches. No MRI scheduled; I assume saw what needed on xray

The lack of an MRI potentially means Morgan didn't suffer any ligament damage. It could also mean Morgan suffered a clean break and no MRI would be needed.

However, the talk around the locker room seemed to suggest Morgan had sustained a serious injury. And now sources after the game indicate a firm verdict on what the injury could be. Matt Maiocco of CSN Bay Area reports.

The 49ers' victory came at a cost, as receiver Joshua Morgan sustained a fractured right ankle, a source close to Morgan told CSNBayArea.com on Sunday evening.

 If it is a fracture, Morgan is likely out of it for awhile, leaving the Niners with Michael Crabtree, Ted Ginn and Kyle Williams. Not a bad group of receivers, but I'm sure Harbaugh would have to constrain his playbook.

 

For more discussion on the Josh Morgan injury, Niners Nation is where you want to go.

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