A week into OTAs, Redskins wide receiver Josh Morgan is sprinting faster and cutting harder than he thought he’d be able to only four months after having surgery to clean out his previous repaired right ankle.
“I feel better than I thought I was going to feel,” Morgan said. “I thought it was going to be little stuff here and there, but I feel a lot better. Everybody says I’m running real good. All the coaches can see me getting in and out of my cuts a lot better.”
Indeed, during Thursday’s practice Morgan appeared to once again have the burst and agility he lacked last season due to persistent pain and discomfort in the ankle he broke in 2011 as a member of the 49ers. In January, he had seven screws removed from the joint.
“He’s a lot better,” Coach Mike Shanahan said. “He’s got the screws taken out of his ankle. You can see it’s a lot easier for him to cut.”
Morgan also had surgery on both hands during the off-season and has reported no trouble catching passes or throwing blocks.
“My hands feel real good,” he said. “No pain, no nothing. The only pain I feel right now is from all the weight lifting stuff I’m doing with [strength and conditioning coach] Ray [Wright].”
“I feel stronger,” the 27-year-old D.C. native added. “I’ve been doing a lot of extra weights. Yesterday, I ran a couple of other guys over and didn’t even feel it.”
Morgan’s return to full health comes at a critical time for the team and the player.
If the Redskins end up throwing the ball more this season because of Robert Griffin III’s knee injury, it’s likely Morgan will be asked to play a bigger role. He led Washington with 48 receptions in 2012, but it was apparent in late December and January that he was limited by the injuries. In fact, he had only three receptions combined against the Eagles, Cowboys and Seahawks.
A strong 2013 campaign would also increase Morgan's chances of re-signing with his hometown team. He’s due to become an unrestricted free agent after the season.
Securing his next contract, however, isn’t on his mind at the moment. He’s simply focused on finally be able to run without discomfort and grab a pass minus the shooting pain in his hands.
“This is the best I’ve felt since about 2009,” he said with a smile.