San Francisco 49ers Lose Wide Receiver Deebo Samuel in Thrilling Win Over Green Bay Packers

The San Francisco 49ers pulled out a cathartic, rain-soaked victory in Saturday's instant classic 24-21 win over the Green Bay Packers, but it may have come at great cost. All-Pro wide receiver Deebo Samuel exited with a shoulder injury in the first half and did not return, casting doubt over his availability for next week's NFC Championship game.

Samuel was banged up by a cavalry of Packers tacklers on the 49ers' opening drive, finishing his night with two receptions for 22 yards. He was supposedly briefly cleared for a return but was later spotted on the sideline out of uniform and officially declared out.

Even without Samuel, the 49ers managed to exorcise some demons on their way to a clutch win. Entering tonight's game, Kyle Shanahan's 49ers had never won a game in which they trailed by more than five points, but they closed out their Divisional Round matchup with aplomb. Following an agonizing miss on a 42-yard field goal attempt by the Packers, the 49ers marched 69 yards for the go-ahead touchdown. Linebacker Dre Greenlaw sealed the win with an interception on the Packers' final possession, and the 49ers advanced to their fourth NFC Championship game in five years.

Tonight's win should be a joyous one for the 49ers, but Samuel's status could go a long way toward deciding their fate in the next round. With 2929 receiving yards, 822 rushing yards, and 31 total touchdowns since 2020, he's one of the NFL's most unique weapons, and his versatility consistently creates headaches for opposing defenses.

The 49ers will host the winner of tomorrow's matchup between the Detroit Lions and Tampa Buccaneers next Sunday in the NFC Championship game.

Photo Credit: © Dan Powers/USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin / USA TODAY NETWORK