Josh Morgan’s comments ‘had nothing to do’ with de-activation, Shanahan says

Josh Morgan

Josh Morgan, here catching a pass while warming up for the Chargers game Nov. 3, was inactive for the Redskins on Sunday in Philadelphia. (John McDonnell/The Washington Post)

Coach Mike Shanahan said Monday that wide receiver Josh Morgan’s public comments last week about his diminished role this season with the Washington Redskins “had nothing to do” with Morgan being placed on the team’s inactive list for Sunday’s loss at Philadelphia.

Morgan was de-activated for the game after saying last week that “I know I didn’t do anything to lose my job. So you have to really ask the coaches.”

Shanahan said Monday: “No, it had nothing to do with his de-activation.”

Morgan declined to comment after Sunday’s game on his de-activation, saying: “Coach said I can’t talk. Coach said I can’t play football and I can’t talk.”

Shanahan said Monday that it was “a little bit unusual to hear that.”

Shanahan also said: “I’ve got a lot of belief in Josh Morgan. We did make the switch [to] Nick Williams because I wanted to take a look at him as a punt returner. I do have a lot of confidence in Josh that he’ll come back strong and help us this week as a wide receiver. I explained to him what he needs to do in both special teams and [as] a wide receiver to get to the level that I think he can get to because he does have the ability to be a Pro Bowl player. I want to get that out of him.”

Williams, an undrafted rookie wide receiver, replaced Morgan as the team’s punt returner Sunday. Morgan already had fallen behind Leonard Hankerson in their competition for playing time at the wide receiver spot opposite Pierre Garcon. But Hankerson suffered a knee injury Sunday that could require surgery for a damaged lateral collateral ligament, and the Morgan potentially could return to the lineup against his former team when the Redskins host the San Francisco 49ers on Monday night at FedEx Field.

Morgan spent four seasons with the 49ers before signing with the Redskins, his hometown team, as a free agent prior to last season. He led the team with 48 catches last season but has only 11 this season.

Have a Redskins question? E-mail Mike Jones at mike.jones@washpost.com with the subject line “Mailbag question” for him to answer it in The Mailbag on Tuesdays.

What’s ahead:

● More from Mike Shanahan’s news conference

More on the Redskins:

Players vow to remain united | Hankerson could be out for the season 

Wise: Which was the abberation? | Mike Jones’s five observations | Outsider’s review

D.C. Sports Bog: Unhappy with RGIII on Facebook | Jurgensen wanted him benched | More

NFL looks into official’s treatment of Williams | Sunday night game stays put

High expectations meet harsh reality | Job security comes to the forefront

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