After a solid performance (five catches for 73 yards) for the New York Giants during Super Bow XLVI, Mario Manningham got a two-year deal from the San Francisco 49ers prior to last season. But multiple injuries limited him to 42 receptions for 449 yards and one touchdown in 12 games (10 starts).
The most serious of Manningham’s injuries last season was a torn ACL and PCL in his left knee, which he suffered late in the regular season and obviously caused him to miss San Francisco’s run to the Super Bowl. There is some hope he will be ready for Week 1, but multiple reports suggest Manningham will not be ready for the start of training camp and may not return until late August.
Manningham is a candidate to start the season on the PUP (Physically Unable to Perform) list if he does not make sufficient progress in his recovery, with an eye toward a return to action at some point during the regular season. He is not necessarily in danger of being released after agreeing to take a pay cut during the offseason, but any chance Manningham had to take on a bigger role during his second season in San Francisco looks slim at this point. The 49ers are thin at wide receiver right now, with Michael Crabtree (Achilles’) and Kyle Williams (knee) also working their way back from injuries, so rookie Quinton Patton and second-year man A.J. Jenkins are climbing the depth chart.
The 49ers will surely not be counting on Manningham to contribute anything substantial this season, but if he is able to get on the practice field late in training camp and perhaps play in a preseason game optimism will rise.
Brad Berreman is a contributing writer at Rant Sports.com. Follow him on Twitter @bradberreman24.