The San Francisco 49ers have ruled out wide receiver Mario Manningham for tonight’s game against the New England Patriots, and he will now miss his third game of the season due to a shoulder injury. It looked like Manningham would be able to play against the Patriots, because he was reportedly able to move his shoulder well on Thursday’s practice and made a terrific one-handed grab on that shoulder.
But the only day of the week that the first-year 49er was able to practice on was Thursday, because he was downgraded on Friday to “doubtful” after not practicing. Previously thought to be a game-time decision, Manningham has been ruled out entirely and many are speculating that he suffered a setback on either Thursday or Friday.
So far this season, the Patriots-killer in last year’s Super Bowl with the New York Giants (oh, how I loathe that catch) has caught 41 passes for 449 yards. Manningham has been an above-average possession receiver for the San Francisco 49ers as the third option in their passing attack behind Michael Crabtree and Vernon Davis.
The one thing that 49ers fans can take solace in is that the Niners will use Davis more in this game. The Patriots linebackers aren’t the best in coverage, and Davis is an elite tight end who just hasn’t been getting as many targets as he deserves this season. We’ll see if the 49ers finally utilize him more, and that definitely won’t be a good thing for New England.
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