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49ers Gear Up for NFC Championship as Deebo Samuel Sidelined from Practice

The San Francisco 49ers kicked off their practice week with a brief injury report, and unfortunately, one of their key playmakers is dealing with health concerns. Wide receiver Deebo Samuel, who left Saturday’s Divisional Round game early due to a shoulder injury, was the sole 49ers player absent from the team’s first practice of the week.

As the Detroit Lions loom on the horizon for the NFC Championship Game, Samuel’s availability remains uncertain. Head coach Kyle Shanahan provided an update, stating, “He’s feeling better. It makes me feel better. His shoulder hurts.”

Samuel’s significance to San Francisco’s offense is substantial. His versatility, being able to line up anywhere on the field, coupled with his physicality and speed, makes him a challenging player to game plan against. In 2023, when Samuel was absent for nearly four games, the 49ers won just one, emphasizing his impact on the team’s success. During those games, the team’s average points per game dropped from 32.8 to 18.8.

Facing the high-scoring Lions in the upcoming NFC Championship Game, the 49ers will need to match their opponent’s offensive prowess to advance to the next round of the playoffs.

Quarterback Brock Purdy acknowledged Samuel’s pivotal role, saying, “He’s probably the best playmaker in this league. You get the ball in his hands, he can do whatever he wants. He makes guys miss, breaks tackles, he’s strong, he’s tough, he’s got grit, and we all feed off it. Deebo definitely gives us some juice and energy and momentum in our offense. If he’s not playing, obviously that’s tough on us, but we’ll have guys who can create that as well. If you’re asking me, we’d love for Deebo to play.”

In terms of practice updates, veteran defensive lineman Nick Bosa and tackle Trent Williams had their usual rest days, while defensive lineman Kalia Davis, who landed on the Injured Reserve list in late December, had his 21-day practice window opened after recovering from an ankle injury.


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