Deebo Samuel is back.
The San Francisco 49ers star wide receiver returned to practice Thursday after dealing with knee and ankle ailments. He last played in the Niners’ Week 14 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, leaving in the second quarter with knee and ankle injuries.
On Friday, Samuel was ruled out for Sunday’s game against the Raiders, and Kyle Shanahan said there was “a chance” he could play in next week’s regular-season finale against the Arizona Cardinals.
Of course, getting Samuel healthy for the postseason is the top priority. The 49ers are the hottest team in football, having won eight in a row and already clinching the NFC West. They currently have the No. 3 seed in the NFC, one game back of the Minnesota Vikings.
Not only would Samuel add to the Niners’ stock of skill players helping rookie starting quarterback Brock Purdy, but he remains one of the most dangerous weapons in the NFL. Despite missing three full games in 2022, only teammate Christian McCaffrey and the Chargers’ Austin Ekeler have more receiving yards (612) and rushing yards (228) than Samuel.
In 2021, Samuel earned All-Pro honors after becoming the first player in league history to surpass 1,400 receiving yards and 300 rushing yards in the same season, while also setting a record eight touchdowns on the ground for a width. He added 291 more rushing yards in three playoff games.
If the 49ers are going to make another deep run, Samuel could be as important as anyone.
Jerry Rice blames the 49ers’ play for Deebo’s injury
NFL legend Jerry Rice took to Twitter yesterday with some harsh criticism of the 49ers.
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