The San Francisco 49ers will be without their top receiver for at least three weeks.
A strong offseason for the San Francisco 49ers has been marred by the injuries to their wide receiving corps. The very first domino to fall was star receiver Deebo Samuel, who broke his foot during practice with teammates in June. There was hope that Samuel would be good to go for the team’s home opener against the Arizona Cardinals, especially after he was spotted sprinting on the side during 49ers training camp two weeks ago. But that ultimately wasn’t good enough.
According to Field Yates of ESPN, the 49ers placed Samuel on the injured reserve, meaning that he’ll be sidelined for at least three weeks.
Samuel’s progress wasn’t enough without practice so the 49ers had to put the receiver on injured reserve where he’ll be for at least the next three weeks
Entering Week 1, 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan said he didn’t expect Samuel to practice this past Wednesday but did say there was a minimal chance he could participate. As it turns out, Samuel was not present for practices on Wednesday or Thursday, before the 49ers ultimately ruled him out for the season opener on Friday. 24 hours later, the team placed him on the injured reserve.
Back in June, Samuel and other members of the 49ers gathered at Nashville, Tenn. for practice, as NFL teams couldn’t hold organized team activities due to the coronavirus pandemic. During said practice, Samuel suffered a Jones fracture in his left foot, which required surgery. The usual timetable to fully recover from such a fracture is 12-to-16 weeks, which put his status for the start of the season in serious doubt from the get-go. By placing Samuel on the injured reserve, the 49ers are giving him extra time to heal up and ensure he’s 100-percent before having him suit up this season.
In his very first NFL season, Samuel caught 57-of-81 targets for 802 yards and three touchdowns, while rushing for 159 yards and three scores on 14 carries.
With Samuel out, the 49ers will now lean upon Kendrick Bourne and Dante Pettis against the rival Cardinals on Sunday. It’s unknown if first-round selection Brandon Aiyuk will be active, as he was listed as questionable for the game as he works back from a mild left hamstring strain.