Josh Morgan inactive for Redskins vs. Eagles

November 17, 2013
Josh Morgan
Josh Morgan started every game in 2012 but has been replaced in 2013. (Jonathan Newton/The Washington Post)

PHILADELPHIA  Wide receiver Josh Morgan will be inactive for today’s game against the Philadelphia Eagles. The move continues the descent for the sixth-year veteran, who last season signed with his hometown Redskins as a free agent.

Also inactive for the Redskins are quarterback Rex Grossman, tight end Fred Davis, safety Jose Gumbs, guard Josh LeRibeus, defensive tackle Chris Neild and linebacker Brandon Jenkins.

Starting cornerback DeAngelo Hall and defensive end Stephen Bowen had been hampered by foot and knee injuries, respectively, this week. But both are expected to start.

This is the first time this season that Morgan has been inactive.

Morgan started every game last season, and opened this season as the No. 2 wide receiver once again. Coaches said during the preseason that the Virginia Tech product was much more explosive this season after having offseason surgery to remove a plate and seven screws from his ankle. But Leonard Hankerson wound up replacing him at the ‘Z’ receiver position opposite top wideout Pierre Garcon. Morgan has 11 catches for 124 yards.

Morgan had repeatedly expressed confusion over his demotion, saying “I know I didn’t do anything to lose my job.”

But on Thursday, offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan, when asked about the move, said, “It’s more that Hankerson has been stepping it up, so we’ve given Hank more reps. It’s something we said back in training camp – those guys have been competing since the starting of OTAs this year through camp. They were always neck-and-neck. Right when one guy would take a step up the next day he would take a step back and they were always right here and that’s how it was kind of at the beginning of the year. We just felt on the practice field that Hank had been stepping it up so we’ve been giving him a few more opportunities, especially on third down and stuff – more passing situations – and that’s how it’s been. Still doesn’t mean it’s final. We evaluate everything every day and week-to-week and Hank has definitely earned more playing time as the time has gone on.”

Morgan had taken on the role of kickoff and punt returner following his demotion at wide receiver, but he struggled in both capacities. Last week Niles Paul replaced Morgan on kick returns, and this week, rookie Nick Williams is slated to take over as punt returner.

Morgan becomes the second offensive starter this season that has fallen out of favor with his coaches, joining Davis. Morgan and Davis are making $5.1 million and $2.5 million, respectively, this season.

For in-game updates, analysis, photos and the best of social media, plus a place to talk with fellow Redskins fans, visit our live blog, from two hours before kickoff through the post-game news conferences.

Mike Jones covers the Washington Redskins for The Washington Post. When not writing about a Redskins development of some kind – which is rare – he can be found screaming and cheering at one of his kids’ softball, baseball, soccer or basketball games.
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Mark Maske · November 17, 2013

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