What's next for 49ers at receiver?

October 10, 2011, 4:45 pm
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SANTA CLARA -- The 49ers are down to three healthy wide receivers. And that includes Michael Crabtree, who has been held to limited practices since the start of the regular season to manage his left foot.Receiver Joshua Morgan is out indefinitely with a fractured right ankle, a source told CSNBayArea.com on Sunday evening. The Sacramento Bee reported Monday morning that Morgan is scheduled for surgery.
Morgan was injured with more than four minutes remaining while catching a 19-yard pass on a fourth-and-3 play with the 49ers leading 41-3.Receiver Braylon Edwards is expected to miss one more game after undergoing arthroscopic surgery on his right knee three weeks ago. His most likely return date is Oct. 30 against the Cleveland Browns.Crabtree, Ted Ginn and Kyle Williams are the 49ers wideouts expected to be available Sunday against the Detroit Lions.The 49ers need more bodies at wide receiver to practice, so they must at least bring in somebody from the outside for the practice squad. Currently, the 49ers have two practice-squad receivers: Joe Hastings and former University of San Diego player John Matthews.The 49ers can also be expected to add a receiver to the 53-man roster. But it's doubtful any player added will be anything but No. 4 on the depth chart initially. And when Edwards returns, that player would likely be No. 5.The 49ers have not used a four-receiver set through the first five games, so right now the 49ers must be content with Crabtree and Ginn, with increased play time on third downs for Williams. And they can certainly get by with No. 2 tight end Delanie Walker getting even more playing time.Among the players the 49ers will consider are Hastings, as well as Dominique Zeigler and Lance Long, veterans who were among the team's final cuts of training camp.The most notable receivers without a team are, of course, Terrell Owens and T.J. Houshmandzadeh. Owens sustained a torn ACL in April. He might not be ready to play for another month or more. The 49ers need a receiver who can at least practice now without any restrictions.The 49ers tried to make a splash at wide receiver after the lockout. The club pursued Plaxico Burress, and even got him on a flight to the Bay Area, before he decided to sign with the New York Jets.The 49ers worked out receiver Donnie Avery early in the season. He signed recently with the Tennessee Titans. Last week, no wide receivers worked out for teams across the NFL.