SANTA CLARA -- The 49ers placed wide receiver Mario Manningham on season-ending injured reserve Friday as a result of a knee injury.
Coach Jim Harbaugh declined to give specifics on Manningham's situation, in particular whether the injury is related to the one that sidelined Manningham for the latter part of last season and the first half of this season.
Harbaugh deferred to Manningham and team doctors, none of whom was available to the media Friday.
"We'll do what's in the best interest of his career," Harbaugh said. "He's got input in that. It's conversations between doctors and Mario at this point."
Rookie Quinton Patton is expected to play a heightened role in Manningham's absence. He said he is eager to show what he can do if given the opportunity.
Patton played in place of Manningham against the Atlanta Falcons on Monday night, but he didn't have any passes thrown his way on his 18 snaps. Fellow backup Kassim Osgood caught a pass for 17 yards for his first reception of the season.
Manningham is in the final season of a two-year contract he signed with the 49ers before the 2012 season. Therefore, it's conceivable that he has played his final game for the 49ers.
The 49ers did not make a corresponding move to fill the vacancy on their 53-man roster, though they still might do so before Sunday's game against the Arizona Cardinals.
Manningham suffered torn knee ligaments against the Seattle Seahawks on Dec. 23, 2012. The injuries required surgery and sidelined him for all the offseason workouts and training camp while he recovered. He debuted against the Carolina Panthers on Nov. 10 and caught nine passes for 85 yards in six games upon his return.
He attempted to practice Thursday but ended up on an adjacent field with a team athletic trainer. Soon thereafter, the 49ers opted to shut down Manningham.
There is at least one indication that this isn't "just another game," as Boldin termed the 49ers' first game against the Cardinals on Oct. 13, at Candlestick Park: a tweet that appeared on his timeline Christmas Day with a link to a poster titled, "Boldin Returns to the Desert."
On the bottom of the poster, a slew of Boldin's accomplishments are listed. Notably, all of them occurred after Arizona, his team from 2003-09, traded him to Baltimore before the 2010 season.
Boldin declined an interview request Friday. A team spokesman said the movielike poster was the brainchild of Boldin's personal public relations staff.
Staff writer Cam Inman contributed to this report.