Injury Update On San Francisco 49ers Wide Receiver Samuel

The San Francisco 49ers suffered what appeared to be another heartbreaking injury to an offensive star early in their 35-7 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers earlier today, but they've apparently dodged catastrophe. According to head coach Kyle Shanahan, wide receiver Deebo Samuel avoided breaking his ankle and is most likely looking at a high-ankle sprain. A high-ankle sprain would be good news for Samuel, given how severe the injury initially appeared. He had totalled 64 yards from scrimmage and a touchdown on eight touches before his exit. Despite his unavailability, the 49ers cruised to an easy 35-7 win.

A high-ankle sprain would allow Samuel to potentially return before the postseason, but it all depends on how he responds to rest and rehab. If Sunday's game is any indication, the 49ers should be able to get by without him. He had totalled 569 receiving yards at a mediocre 6.6 yards per target before Sunday, but he remained a useful occasional runner of the ball, totalling 207 rushing yards at an efficient 5.2 yards per carry.

Samuel entered the league as the 49ers' 36th overall pick of the 2019 NFL Draft. He emerged as a thrilling offensive threat through the air and on the ground last year, totalling 1770 yards from scrimmage and 14 touchdowns in 16 appearances, but it's possible the NFL has caught up with his unique skillset. His efficiency has cratered this year, falling from 13.0 yards per touch in 2021 to 8.9 this season.
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