49ers WR Deebo Samuel “ready to go” after missing two games with shoulder fracture
By Insidethe49|Published On: November 2nd, 2023 at 5:11 PM|
The 49ers receiver is expected back in action after the bye week against the Jaguars.
The San Francisco 49ers are receiving some good news, as wide receiver Deebo Samuel proclaimed himself as “ready to go” on The Kay Adams Show earlier Thursday, seeming fully healed from the hairline fracture that has sidelined him for the past two games.
Samuel, who sustained the shoulder injury on his first carry against the against the Cleveland Browns back in Week 6, was ruled out for two games, and expected to return after the 49ers’ bye week, which is now likely to be the case.
Over the stretch, the 49ers have struggled offensively, scoring just 17 points in each of their last three games, leading to a three-game losing streak over that stretch.
While Samuel hasn’t been the ultra-effective 2021 version of himself, it’s clear how much head coach Kyle Shanahan values the wideback, consistently finding different creative avenues to utilize the star.
Samuel provides the team with some much-needed physicality, which they’ve also missed from star left tackle Trent Williams, who has missed the last two games with an ankle sprain.
Without their duo of talented players, the 49ers have struggled to find their identity on the ground, going away from the run game at times and depending too much on quarterback Brock Purdy, who has turned the ball over at a high rate in the three losses.
Samuel’s expected return should hopefully provide some stability to the 49ers offense, although he’ll likely continue to cede the No. 1 receiver duties to Brandon Aiyuk.
Samuel, who has 302 receiving yards and a touchdown on 20 catches this season, has been used differently in 2023, with an average depth of target (ADOT) of 7.3 yards, much higher than his 2022 mark of 4.3 yards.
What does that mean?
Well, the 49ers are still using Samuel in a role close to the line of scrimmage, allowing him to work the short and intermediate portions of the field, gaining yards after the catch.
However, there haven’t been as many plays at or behind the line of scrimmage, meaning less screens.
Samuel has also seen a small rushing role, carrying the ball 18 times through six games for 95 yards, with the 49ers occasionally implementing two-back sets with him and Christian McCaffrey in the backfield to provide defenses with different looks.
While Brandon Aiyuk has been the more effective receiver in 2023, it’s clear that Samuel still has a prominent role in Kyle Shanahan’s offense, and that’ll be welcomed back in Week 10 when the 49ers travel to face the Jacksonville Jaguars.