What is Mario Manningham's future

December, 27, 2013
12/27/13
6:10
PM ET
The news the San Francisco 49ers have put receiver Mario Manningham on the injured reserve spurs this question: Has Manningham played his last down with the 49ers?

Yes, I believe he has.

It is not out of the question that Manningham returns in 2014, but I’d say the odds are the team will move on in an attempt to get younger and better depth at receiver. Manningham is a free agent. He signed a two year deal in 2012. He was a solid rotational receiver before tearing his ACL and PCL last December. He was activated last month, but never was the same. When Michael Crabtree returned December 1 from a torn Achilles, Manningham’s play time dwindled.

I would think the 49ers will look for receivers in the draft. However, one player who can help his cause is rookie Quinton Patton. He was the No. 3 receiver Monday when Manningham was out and he should remain in that role for the rest of the season.

Patton is a promising player who played for the first time Monday since breaking his foot in Week 4. The fourth-round pick was not targeted Monday, but he has a chance to impress staff in the rest of the season.

Is being without Manningham a factor for the rest of the season? I don’t think it will be unless there is an injury at the top of the rotation. The 49ers have been and will be fine with Crabtree, Anquan Boldin and tight end Vernon Davis. Manningham hasn't been doing much, anyway.

As for the open roster spot, don’t be surprised if the 49ers wait until next week to fill it. There is no rush since Patton has already replaced Manningham. Whoever would be added, would likely be inactive Sunday. There is no guarantee the 49ers add a receiver when it fills the spot. They have five on the roster.

Bill Williamson | email

ESPN Oakland Raiders reporter

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