Morgan will start over Bruce at WR, 49ers coach Singletary says

Isaac Bruce's ankle injury kept him out of Thursday night's game. It also might have cost him his starting job.

San Francisco 49ers coach Mike Singletary said Friday that second-year pro Josh Morgan will start even when Bruce is healthy, sending one of the NFL's all-time leading wide receivers to the bench.

"He's still going to play. We just think the time has come to where, Josh Morgan, we want to see what he can do as the starter," Singletary said. "Let him take that lead and see what he can do with it.

"Isaac Bruce is still going to mentor. Isaac Bruce is still going to play. He's still going to make plays, but he's just not going to start. His time will be a little bit limited there. That's all."

Bruce ranks among the NFL's top 10 in career receptions (fifth with 1,023), receiving yards (second with 15,188) and receiving touchdowns (ninth with 91). He has been a regular starter since 1995, his second year in the NFL, but he has just 20 receptions for 244 yards and no touchdowns in eight games this season. He twisted his ankle, which has bothered him all season, during Tuesday's practice and wasn't able to play on it two days later.

Morgan made three catches for 24 yards during the 49ers' 10-6 home victory over the Chicago Bears on Thursday. It was his most significant playing time in the past four games, after first-round draft pick Michael Crabtree ended his contract holdout and pushed Morgan off the field.

Morgan has 23 receptions for 300 yards and one touchdown in nine games this season.

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