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Morning Tailgate: Josh Morgan May Play vs. 49ers

Posted Nov 19, 2013

The San Francisco-turned-Washington wideout could be on his way back in the teams' 30th all-time meeting.

If you were scouting the 49ers Week 12 opponent – pressing pause, rewind and play during Washington’s 16-point fourth-quarter comeback attempt on Sunday – you may have been wondering something while quarterback Robert Griffin III darted throw after throw to his receiving corps.

Where is Josh Morgan?

The answer: Healthy but inactive and on the sideline.

When San Francisco visits Washington for “Monday Night Football” for the teams’ 30th all-time matchup next week, there is no guarantee the ex-49ers wideout will be on the field either.

Morgan has been “phased out” of the Griffin-led offense, to borrow a phrase from his city’s papers.

This is after recording a team-high 48 catches for 510 yards and two touchdowns over 16 games (15 starts) in 2012, his first season since leaving San Francisco via free agency. The 2008 sixth-round draft pick spent his first four pro seasons here; he suffered a broken bone in his right leg in ’11.

This season has been a different story for the D.C. native. Morgan has recorded 11 receptions in nine games (two starts).

Another knee injury – a teammate's, not his – could push Morgan back into the lineup. Leonard Hankerson, who had replaced him as the unit’s “Z” receiver, hurt the lateral collateral ligament in his left knee during Washington’s eventual 24-16 defeat to the Philadelphia Eagles in Week 11. Fellow young pass-catcher Nick Williams had replaced Morgan on the gameday roster and assumed his punt return duties.

Still, Morgan, seemingly stuck on a 3-7 team, has had no second thoughts about leaving his first team.

“I knew the only reason I left California, left the 49ers, was to come home and play for the home team,” Morgan told the Washington Post’s Mark Maske last week. “I don’t regret that decision at all. I mean, throughout anybody’s career you ask all 53 players on this team if they had an opportunity after their rookie contract to go play for their home team, I don’t know of anybody that would give up that opportunity.

"So no, I don’t regret the decision at all. I had the most catches last year. We went to the playoffs for the first time in 10 years last year. I don’t regret it at all. I love my city. I love playing football. You can’t control the business side of it. You can’t control what coaches want to do. It is what it is.”

For more storylines surrounding the team, check out this edition of Morning Tailgate links, presented by State Farm.

Eric Branch of the San Francisco Chronicle reported on Mike Iupati’s injury.

Bill Williamson of ESPN.com said Eric Wright can boost the cornerback corps.

Carl Steward of the San Jose Mercury News quoted Jim Harbaugh on the Ahmad Brooks play.

Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee wrote about the league’s reaction to the play.

Taylor Price of 49ers.com compiled those reactions.






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