The San Francisco 49ers squeaked out a 24-21 win over the Green Bay Packers in Saturday night’s NFC Divisional Round, but the health of Deebo Samuel remains in question.
The star wide receiver is having tests done on his left shoulder Sunday that could determine his availability for next week’s NFC title game, NFL Network reported Sunday. For Samuel, who did not return Saturday after going down in the first half, it’s the same shoulder that he banged up in the middle of the season which caused him to miss the better part of three games — all Niners losses.
The veteran wideout was able to begin rehabbing right after the game and told people he believes “it’s going to be OK,” NFL Network added. The team is also reportedly optimistic that this setback isn’t serious.
Samuel initially was sidelined — and examined for a head injury — after taking a big hit in the first quarter. He cleared the concussion protocol, but the shoulder injury ended his night early. He finished with two receptions for 24 yards.
With Samuel out, the Niners’ offense struggled but rode two rushing scores from running back Christian McCaffrey and a 32-yard touchdown pass from Brock Purdy to tight end George Kittle in the comeback victory.
The 49ers will host the NFC Championship Game (FOX, 6:30 p.m. ET) next Sunday against the winner of today’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers-Detroit Lions (3 p.m. ET) matchup. It will be the Niners’ fourth title game appearance since drafting Samuel five years ago. The “wide-back” dynamo registered 60 receptions for 892 yards and seven touchdowns and ran for 225 yards and five touchdowns across 15 games in the regular season.
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