Wide receiver Josh Morgan watched from the sideline Tuesday as his new Redskins teammates practiced various situations during 11-on-11 team drills. He’s still limited by the broken leg he suffered last October during garbage time of the San Francisco 49ers’ blowout win over Tampa Bay.
He is determined, though, to let go of any bitterness and look forward now that he has a new opportunity near his native Washington D.C.
“I’m very, very close [to 100 percent],” Morgan said after the Redskins’ second day of mandatory minicamp. “I just got to get my explosion back. The pain is gone. Everything else is healed.”
Morgan’s 2011 season took the cruelest of twists after a promising start. He started San Francisco’s first five games and had a team-leading 220 yards and a touchdown on 15 receptions.
But with the 49ers leading the Buccaneers, 41-3, with 4:46 remaining, Coach Jim Harbaugh called a short pass play instead of kicking a field goal.
Morgan was tackled awkwardly. He broke his right leg and tore ligaments. Surgery to repair the damage included eight screws and a plate.
“Coach Harbaugh didn’t take us out of the game, but it is what it is,” Morgan said. “You can’t really cry over spilled milk. All I’ve got to do is get back healthy and come out here and do it again here.”
Morgan then missed out on the 49ers’ run to the NFC title game.
“It was heartbreaking, honestly,” he said.
Morgan, who turns 27 a week from Wednesday, put enough good play on tape before he got hurt to attract Redskins coach Mike Shanahan and offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan. They like his ability to handle a wide range of responsibilities, including blocking. Washington signed Morgan during free agency to what amounts to a two-year, $12-million deal.
It’s a homecoming for Morgan, who played at H.D. Woodson High in the District and at Virginia Tech.
“I want to learn the whole offense like I did when I was in San Francisco,” Morgan said. “I want to learn what everybody got to do so I never have to come off the field.”
He has to get on the field first, though. Morgan was limited in all of the spring practices. Not only does he lack explosion, he said he has lost five inches off his vertical jump.
He had x-rays Monday, which showed the bone healed properly. He is scheduled for an MRI soon to evaluate how the ligaments have healed. Morgan expects to be ready for training camp.
“It’s definitely a matter of strengthening it,” he said, “making sure you don’t overdo it.”