Healthy Morgan ready for big year

Healthy Morgan ready for big year
July 27, 2013, 12:30 pm
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Redskins continue to battle injuries as camp begins

RICHMOND--In Week 5 of the 2011 season, the 49ers led the Bucs 41-3. It was late in true garbage time when rookie quarterback Colin Kaepernick came into the game. Coach Jim Harbaugh wanted to give the kid some work so the 49ers kept throwing.

Josh Morgan was having a pretty good day with four receptions for 56 yards. With a minute left he caught one more pass from Kaepernick. Morgan made the reception near the goal line but as he was trying to get into the end zone a defender caught his ankle and Morgan ended up on the ground a yard short of a touchdown. But he couldn’t get up as the tackle had fractured his foot. He had surgery to repair the injury, a procedure that required that seven screws be put in the foot.

That proved to be his last catch as a 49er. Morgan was a free agent after spending the last 11 games of the season on injured reserve. The Redskins signed him to a two-year, $11.5 million contract.

His recovery from that 2011 injury appears to be coming in two phases. Last year he played with the screws still in his foot. He also played with torn ligaments in both hands. Morgan had his moments but he didn’t shine consistently. Although he led the team in receptions with 48, his average of 10.6 yards per reception was the second-lowest of his career and not what a team is looking for out of a wide receiver with Morgan’s pay grade.

“It was painful in everything I did,” he said. “It hurt me to run, it hurt me to do everything that a wide receiver is supposed to do.”

After last season ended Morgan had surgery to remove the screws in his foot and to have the ligament issues in his hands repaired. He thinks he’s primed for a big season.

“It's really exciting for me,” said Morgan, who is going into his sixth NFL season. “I'm healthy for one and for two I'm more comfortable in this offense. You know exactly how they want you to do things.”

Now that the big stuff of learning the offense is out of the way, he can focus on polishing up the details.

“You know everything,” said Morgan. “You get to focus on perfecting your craft and not trying to figure out what they want because you've got that.”

“I think with a healthy me, you'll see a big difference.”

Morgan can be a key weapon in the Redskins’ offense, especially if Pierre Garçon continues to shine and draws some extra attention from the defense. If that happens, Morgan needs to be one of the players who makes the defense pay. If he’s healthy and has the basics figured out, he should be able to make that happen.