San Francisco 49ers’ wide receiver Deebo Samuel has reportedly suffered a broken foot.
As first reported by NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, Samuel sustained the injury on Tuesday during a throwing session with quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo and other teammates in Nashville. He reportedly underwent surgery to repair the injury on Thursday.
The specific injury has been called a “Jones’ fracture” and his estimated recovery time is anywhere from 12 to 16 weeks. Unfortunately, that means he’s set to miss training camp, all of the preseason, and perhaps the early portion of the regular season.
The 49ers will play host to the Arizona Cardinals in Week 1, but it’s very likely they’ll be doing so without their top wideout from a year ago.
Samuel burst on to the scene as a rookie in 2019 hauling in 57 catches for 802 yards and three touchdowns. He finished with the most yards after the catch by any rookie receiver since 2006, per Pro Football Focus.
And that stat really says it all.
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Samuel turned out to be a perfect fit for head coach Kyle Shanahan’s system with his catch-and-run ability shining in his team’s open-space-centric offense. And the team was counting on him to be a key contributor in 2020.
Now, however, they’ll be forced to rely on others to begin the year.
Who can the 49ers expect to step up in Deebo Samuel’s absence?
That puts more pressure on someone like first-round pick Brandon Aiyuk who could be asked to fill Samuel’s role while he’s sidelined. Others such as Kendrick Bourne, Dante Pettis, Jalen Hurd, and Travis Benjamin could be asked more of as well.
This isn’t the first time that Samuel has run into injury trouble in his career as a broken fibula suffered in his junior season at South Carolina cost him all but three games in 2017.
And while he missed just one game in 2019, it’s certainly something to monitor considering one of his biggest flaws coming out of college was his sketchy injury history.
The 49ers will certainly miss Samuel, but here’s to hoping that he doesn’t miss much regular-season action and that he’s back on the gridiron as soon as possible.