Fooch's Update: The 49ers announced Mario Manningham has been placed on injured reserve.
San Francisco 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh met with the media on Friday and all but confirmed Mario Manningham will not play against the Arizona Cardinals. The final injury report will likely list Manningham as questionable or doubtful after Coach Harbaugh said he did not expect Manningham to play on Sunday.
Manningham came back from his torn ACL and made some contributions midway through the season, but the return of Crabtree decreased his workload. More importantly, he has been on the injury report each week, and seems to be struggling more and more with the injury issue.
Harbaugh on #49ers Manningham knee: "He'll consult w/ Drs and do what's in best interest of his career." Sounds ominous. Left warmups ystdy— Cam Inman (@CamInman) December 27, 2013
It's entirely possible Harbaugh just doesn't want to get too specific in his comments, but as Cam Inman said, that does not sound all that optimistic. Manningham will be a free agent after this season, and odds would seem pretty long that he would be back in 2014. He took a pay cut earlier this offseason to return, and it will be interesting to see what kind of contract he's able to get after this season.
I suspect he won't be back, but if he can spend the entire offseason getting his knee back in shape, he could be available for a fairly inexpensive contract. He turns 28 this offseason, so maybe he gets a veteran minimum one-year deal to prove he is back. I wouldn't be surprised if somebody offered him more than that given his experience pre-injury, but maybe the 49ers offer him a minimum contract and see what kind of response it gets.