This week 49ers WR Braylon Edwards said he has an injured shoulder which is why he has been limited the last three games. Edwards has been noticeably absent in the passing game since he returned from knee surgery in week eight against the Browns. In the win Edwards had his most productive game this season with four receptions for 42 yards. In the four games since then he has only six receptions for 82 yards.
The most likely reason for his lack of production is because the wide receiver injured his shoulder, he is not saying which one, in week nine against the Redskins. On the play Edwards was tackled by Redskins CB DeAngelo Hall after a 24-yard catch injuring his shoulder as he hit the ground. Edwards came out of the game after the play and has only four receptions for 52 yards since. Edwards has been on the field starting for the 49ers but he has not been the productive receiver the team needs as he struggles with his injury. With 14 receptions, 172 yards and no touchdowns Edwards has proven he cannot play while hurt. If Edwards is not 100% the 49ers cannot gamble with him on the field.
With Edwards hurting the next best option is WR Kyle Williams. Williams is only in his second year and his numbers don’t exactly scream start me! with nine receptions, 96 yards and two touchdowns this season. However Williams has shown he can be counted when his number is called. His two touchdowns this season came as he was filling in for an injured and ineffective Edwards in week two against the Cowboys and week 11 against the Cardinals.
The 49ers offense has been dealing with injures at wide receiver all season. Critics like to blame QB Alex Smith for the lack of a passing offense. The main reason for a 29th ranked passing offense is the injuries to the receiving corps. WR Joshua Morgan broke his leg in week five but is still the second-leading wide receiver on the team in receptions with 15. WR Michael Crabtree missed a game earlier this and is leading all receivers with 44 receptions with TE Vernon Davis right behind him with 43 catches. Ted Ginn Jr. is not much of an option as he is more valuable in the return game than the passing offense. Opponents will focus on taking away Crabtree, Davis, Delaine Walker and Frank Gore as passing threats so the 49ers need a second wide receiver to emerge. That receiver can be Williams.