SAN FRANCISCO — For 55 minutes of game time Sunday, you could say that practically nothing of significance went wrong for the 49ers. But with 4:46 left in the 48-3 massacre of Tampa Bay, wide receiver Josh Morgan tried to fight his way into the end zone and instead came away with what may prove to be a serious injury.
Morgan had to be carried from the field by teammates. Anthony Dixon scored for the 49ers two plays later.
Coach Jim Harbaugh insinuated after the game that the injury might not be as serious as it looked.
But not long after that, CSN Bay Area reported that Morgan had fractured his right ankle. The fourth-year veteran led the 49ers with five catches for 75 yards against the Buccaneers, and has 15 for 220 on the season.
Asked about throwing a pass to one of his starters in a meaningless stretch of action, Harbaugh noted that, with Braylon Edwards hurt, the Niners had only four wide receivers suited Sunday.
They ran a three-receiver set on the play and had few options regarding personnel.
"You've got to play," Harbaugh said. "You can't take a knee with four minutes left in the game. It could have been a run. Josh was competing. I think he's going to be OK. (Backup quarterback Colin) Kaepernick is competing. He's got to get work."
<b>NO LEAGUE FOR QUITTERS</b>
It's no secret that the Buccaneers were woeful on Sunday. But did they quit? That's about the worst thing you can say of an NFL team — and it's what 49ers tight end Vernon Davis suggested after the game.
"They were really frustrated," Davis said of the Bucs. "I mean, I felt like they gave up. That's what I saw. I felt like they really gave up. I was trying to tell, I think it was Barber — Ronde. I was telling him, &‘Get your guys, get your guys. Ya'll got to play harder, ya'll got to play harder.'"
Davis had three receptions for 39 yards and a pair of touchdowns, running his career TD total to 32.
<b>A NOSE TACKLE BY ANY NAME</b>
After the game, Harbaugh was asked about fill-in nose tackle Ricky Jean Francois. The reporter used the French pronunciation of Jean Francois, along the lines of "Zhahn Fran-swah." Harbaugh quickly corrected his inquisitor, saying, "You mean Ricky Jean," with a good ol' American pronunciation that sounded like "Ricky Gene."
One thing that everyone could agree upon: Jean Francois had a good game subbing for injured starter Isaac Sopoaga. He had three tackles, plugged the gaps well and even fell back into pass coverage on running back LeGarrette Blount.
"Ricky Jean's done a phenomenal job," linebacker Patrick Willis said. " ... When he came in as a rookie (in 2009) he was playing kind of heavy and what-not. But coming into his second year, he took on the role, practicing hard and working out hard, and now he's one of the strongest guys on the team. It's just phenomenal to see him go out there and play the way he did today."
For the record: His first name is Ricky. His two-word last name is pronounced in the French fashion, a symbol of his Haitian heritage.
"He's saying it in English, but I don't mind," Jean Francois said of Harbaugh. "He probably can't say it the way I want him to, so I'll take &‘Gene Francois.' ... But the owner can say it. If the owner can say it, I'm cool. As long as the announcer say it up there and the people on TV can say it, I'm happy. I'll just have to sit down with Harbaugh and we'll have to work on the pronunciation."