Josh Morgan breaks ankle while catching pass in garbage time


The 49ers got a big win today against the Buccaneers, but they suffered a big loss in the process.

Matt Maiocco of reports that receiver Josh Morgan sustained a fractured right ankle when he was tackled following a 19-yard catch. The injury occurred with the 49ers leading 41-3 and four minutes left in the game, leading to questions of why a starting wide receiver was still in the game, catching a pass, in garbage time.

“You’ve got to play,” 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh said in answer to those questions. “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 OK. . . . We’re not taking a knee with four minutes left in the game.”

If Harbaugh doesn’t want to take a knee with four minutes left and a 38-point lead, fine. But it’s surprising that he thinks his No. 1 wide receiver should be catching passes with four minutes left and a 38-point lead.

Morgan has started all five games this season and leads all 49ers wide receivers in both catches and yards. His absence, combined with the knee injury suffered by Braylon Edwards last month, leaves the 49ers with just three healthy wide receivers: Michael Crabtree, Ted Ginn and Kyle Williams.

46 responses to “Josh Morgan breaks ankle while catching pass in garbage time

  1. Can’t blame Harbaugh. Having the 1 in makes Kaepernick’s time actually worth it, and doesn’t completely humiliate the Bucs. Welkah got injured playing in an unecessary game and he came back just fine, I’m sure Morgan will be back next year.

  2. I don’t think any team benches every single player, so it’s pretty hard to second guess having Morgan in the game.

  3. I disagreed with the play call. Harbaugh is right that They shouldn’t have taken a knee. But they should have just kicked a field goal. Now our best receiver is out for what I would assume is a significant amount of time. I love everything about Harbaugh except for his need to rub it in with big leads. He did that at Stanford too.

  4. stories like these are the reason I automatically skip MDS articles. Josh morgan is our #3 wr behind crabtree and braylon you damn liar! Also morgan got hurt fightin for more yards so hey how bout you blame him for tryin to hard in a blowout??? Harbaugh Lead the niners to a 48-3 win and 4-1 record and MDS thinks he knows what’s best for the niner lol. Mike get this clown outta here before I stop readin this site completely

  5. players get hurt in the NFL. Morgan isnt the #1 wideout. If he doesnt get hurt in a 38 point blowout, maybe its in a close game. You never can tell.

  6. bring up a temp from the practice squad and sign T.O.
    They play one game, hit the bye and come back loaded. Okay that’s unrealistic, but they need to do something because Ginn is NOT a starting WR period. I wouldn’t bank on Crabtree remaining healthy either.

  7. It’s a big loss for the Niners for sure. He may not have been the flashiest WR out there but he’s an excellent blocking receiver.

    We have the Lions and then a Bye. Edwards should be back after the Bye so we just have to get through the Lions in one piece (WR-wise).

  8. It was a fourth and two at the 20 yard line. Why not kick the field goal? Running up the score maybe?

  9. Obviously Harbaugh still has some things to learn. There’s a reason Smith wasn’t throwing that pass to Morgan, and for the same reasons he shouldn’t have had his #1 receiver catching that pass. I’m a big fan of Harbaugh and as a Niner fan it’s been a very good day and season thanks to our coach, but at the same time, I didn’t understand why we were running with most of our 1st team so late in a game that was long over. When Morgan went down my worst fears became realized and now hearing what Harbaugh is saying about it just goes to show he’s still learning on the job. Morgan is going to be missed big time! Now we just have to hope Edwards can come back sooner than later.

  10. It is a big loss for the 49ers and I hope Josh a speedy recovery. But he is not a number 1 receiver. He is a two at best. When the 49er wide receivers are healthy he is a number 3. Braylon is the one, Crabtree, then Morgan. Plus, Ginn has had a good camp, preseason, and season. He is capable of stepping in and playing till Braylon gets healthy. This just gives Crabtree the chance to show that he is a number one receiver. In a healthy world for the 9ers, Morgan is a number 3.

  11. he shouldn’t have been in the game at that point, nor should they have been throwing downfield. You have Ted Ginn and a rookie wr for garbage time plus you should have been running the ball to expire the clock to avoid any injuries. Thats what happens as a result. A good win for them but at a cost.

  12. It isn’t a healthy world for the 9ers right now, as Edwards is out with no known return date. With Edwards out, Morgan IS our #1 receiver and IS playing in the #1 WR postion, Crabtree is playing the #2 position. That’s why Morgan has the most receptions thus far, and Crabtree is behind him. That being the case, he should be treated as the #1 WR and a person like Williams should have been in there and not Morgan. Ginn is a slot receiver at best. Harbaugh shouldn’t have had our first team key players in the game when there’s no reason left for them to be in there. You put your players at risk against injury (which is what happened here) and that’s when you play your 2nd string to give them some minutes and real game time practice. This is football 101 and next week when we’re up against Lions and needed all the offense we can get, harbaugh may rethink his position here.

  13. Sucks Morgan got hurt, but the offense won’t miss a beat without him. This team is scary good when they are firing on all cylinders.

  14. I agree with Harbaugh 100%. Gotta keep your foot on the opponent’s throat. It sucks that Morgan got hurt but hey this is the NFL.

  15. its unfortunate but i dont question Harbaugh on this one. Morgan is a starter on the 2nd team offense when Crabtree and Edwards are healthy. the 2nd team offense was in the game.

    Lagarette Blount got knocked out of the game when it was all but wrapped up. wheres the questioning on that one? what about how Freeman played the entire game, even down by 45 points. no questioning that one either? haha hate on haters.

  16. You’d think Jerry Rice went down. Sure it’s a tough loss, but come on. It’s Joshua freakin’ Morgan. They’ll be fine. Edwards will be back in two weeks after the bye.

  17. Call T.O. and why is everyone hating on harbaugh? The dude is a football coach he was coaching a game and beating a 3-1 team that could be in the way come playoff time. Beat that ass and dont let up. Its football and people get injured. Crabtree it is time to step up and play. Now if this was VD i would be pissed but seeing as how its Josh “30 rec a year” Morgan i am not too worried. This is a west coast offense all they need is someone to run the routes he was running and the offense wont skip a beat…GO NINERS

  18. Tough luck 49ers. Here’s wishing Morgan a speedy recovery. Looking forward to our meeting in Seattle on Christmas Eve. Hopefully Morgan is recovered by then. We Seattle fans want you healthy for your loss.

  19. To all of you saying Morgan isnt the #1 wideout, you’re somewhat right. He isn’t our #1.. When everyone is healthy. But unfortunately Braylon is out for a while, and Crabtree is still fighting through his foot problem. That said, Morgan has been our best receiver so far this year. Obviously that is because of injuries, but it’s true nonetheless.

  20. As a 49ers season ticket holder/Pac 10 or 12 follower. I think it’s about time everybody stops questioning Coach Harbaughs overall coaching philosophy. Especially the Bay Area media! In 5 games he has not only changed a whole teams demeanor, but a beat down former #1 overall pick outlook on how the qb position it’s suppose to be played. The coordinators he brought on are out smarting their opponents with out question. The injury to Morgan was a bad misfortune. Kyle Williams or Ted Ginn Jr will do just, fine in his replacement in Greg Romans scheme.

  21. Unfortunately he got hurt but Harbaugh was doing the same thing bill belichick does during blowouts. except they praise the Patriots and tell the defenses to stop it if theirs a problem.

  22. That’s too bad, Morgan has been a solid wide receiver, quietly consistent for the last few years. At least some of his success has come because opposing teams tend to focus more on the other receivers and tight ends, but he has good hands and is a good route runner and a big asset to the team. With the Edwards injury this hurts.

    I’m not going to second guess why he was playing. Most of the starters were out at this point but the 49ers are pretty shallow at the receiver position. If you go to a three wide receiver set you need to have someone in there (and it could be potentially worse to risk someone like Vernon Davis). What’s more it’s impossible to avoid injuries, and it could have just as easily been an injury to Hunter on a run. Running the ball doesn’t guarantee that you will avoid injuries, and keeping the ball keeps the defense off the field. Injuries on the defensive side of the ball would arguably be more devastating to the 49ers.

  23. Morgan is a loss as he was a great blocker and he did make plays in the passing game but he’s not the #1 WR on the team. Crabtree, Edwards (who’s supposed to be back after the bye), and Vernon Davis are all higher priority targets in the passing game than Morgan was.

    It’s just bad luck and it’s easy to say it was stupid in retrospect. I think the idea was that they had Colin Kapernick in there so they wanted to give the rookie a chance to get some NFL action and have him deal with situations like a 4th and 2 where he might actually have to convert it when it matters.

  24. I think he’s still got the college football coach mentality. But, In the NFL-teams aren’t going for style points to impress the BCS voters. This was a rookie coaching mistake. The 49er’s don’t have very good depth at the wide receiver position. Now they have NO depth. He’s missing the point…no one’s suggesting his team takes a knee for the last 4 minutes of a game. But he does need to learn to protect his best players better. All that being said, I think he’s doing a good job and has a bright future as an NFL head coach

  25. 4t9er says: Oct 9, 2011 10:17 PM

    The tackle was ugly,dirty play by the tackler sweeping josh from behind (red card in soccer).
    _______________________________________ This ain’t Soccer! This is The NFL! you tackle the guy any way you can to stop him from scoring a TD!
    soccer is a pansy game for little girls and he shes!
    Football is a Game for men! There is a difference!

  26. As a Buc fan we got stomped for sure, but this injury falls on Harbaugh. He was clearly trying to further humiliate a team that was beaten down badly with no chance to come back at that point. Most coaches would have just run the ball on simple plays to run out the clock, and let their opponent save face. Harbaugh rubbed Raheem’s nose in it, passing all the way to the end. It is what it is, but these teams will meet again, can’t say when, but it will happen. I doubt that this will be forgotten by the Bucs and paybacks can be brutal. Losing a WR like Morgan trying to run up the score is just the beginning. Good luck with the Lions, and the cheapshots coming from their defense.

  27. Apparently this is a family trait. I’m always frustrated when John leaves all the Ravens starters in in the last minutes of blowout.

    Best of luck to Morgan in his recovery.

  28. As was stated above by another poster, the author of this article has proven again and again he knows nothing about the team he comments on. Last time it was the team could go back home happy with a victory over Cincinnati, when they were staying on the East coast before playing Philly. Now he’s saying Josh Morgan is the team’s number one WR which is not the case. Next man up anyway. When a starter goes down, the next man up takes his position and plays as good or better than the man who was unfortunately injured. That’s the way winning teams play the game in the NFL.

  29. Gee I’m shocked were talking a football injury.
    Hey, Farley hasn’t played one down this season from a freak injury in pre season. Stuff happens.

    I do agree that when you have the big lead you put the lesser players in for learning experience just in case you need them down the line. But you can’t replace every one there’s not that many on the team.

  30. Our defense is what is keeping us in the games. Yes, Frank is being Frank, but Morgan wasn’t the reason why we have won 4 games. I love that Jim brought in tough safeties to beat the heck out of any team trying to pass on us. It is a plus that Rogers has had 3 picks, but that D looks stout. Just keep the consistant offense we have seen so far and we will be just fine with or without (morgan, edwards).

  31. Its ok we got kyle williams..(our version of d jackson but faster and stronger) Go Niners Baby

  32. I don’t understand….up until this week, everybody was bitching how the Niners were playing far too conservative or playing “not to lose”. Now that this team is playing to its potential, it is nice to see a coach playing without mercy.

    As far as Josh Morgan goes, he’s a good, reliable player. He reminds me of Arnaz Battle, but Kyle Williams will do well in the lineup. The coaching will overcome this.

    Go NINERS!!!!

  33. the 49ers had 4 active WRs. Crabtree, Morgan, Ginn and Kyle Williams.

    Morgan and Kyle Williams were in the game at the time because they are in the 2nd team base offense. i dont understand the issue here. Crabtree was obviously done for the day and Ginn is usually used as a slot WR so you have the next 2 guys in the lineup at the time.

    it is unfortunate, really unfortunate he got hurt. it will affect the team. but every injury affects the team. Look at Sopoaga. he is the starting nose tackle and full back on goal line packages. he misses the game with a staph infection and Ricky Jean Francois doesnt miss a beat on defense and Adam Snyder took over Sop’s offensive role.

    thats called “next man up,” and that is what you call great coaching.

  34. bucfandango says:
    Oct 10, 2011 9:09 AM
    As a Buc fan we got stomped for sure, but this injury falls on Harbaugh. He was clearly trying to further humiliate a team that was beaten down badly with no chance to come back at that point. Most coaches would have just run the ball on simple plays to run out the clock, and let their opponent save face. Harbaugh rubbed Raheem’s nose in it, passing all the way to the end

    In another game this might have been true, but the Bucs at the end of the game were not stopping the run at all and Gore and Hunter were breaking off huge runs including a couple 20+ yarders. Putting in your rookie QB and have him throw a few plays actually may have slowed the game more then if they had kept on running it, the Tampa defense had clearly given up at that point in the game.

    The 49ers had 205 yards in rushing, a lot of that in the last quarter. They only had 186 yards passing. Continuing to run the ball would not necessarily been any sort of mercy.

  35. I have to say I am down about Josh Morgan. I know everyone is saying Josh was really not a #1 receiver, on and on and on, but I tell you this much, through all the ups and downs Josh was there, through all the crud about Crabtree being hurt and a bust, and with Edwards hurt etc. But Josh Morgan has done very well for us and I hope the 49ers will take that into consideration and take care of Josh. I know the NFL stands for “What have you done for me lately” and it is a business, but Josh deserves better than what people are saying in other post and I want to see Josh back again next year. After what he’s done for the 49ers through the worst years, he deserves the chance to come back and compete for his job.

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