Analyst Says 49ers ‘Can’t Rush’ Deebo Samuel Injury, Tabs October Return

Getty Deebo Samuel of the San Francisco 49ers

There’s no doubt that the San Francisco 49ers and its fans are anxious for the return of wide receiver Deebo Samuel, but San Francisco has an interesting context in terms of the injury.

After seeing fellow receiver Trent Taylor suffer the same injury, a jones fracture, and suffer several setbacks which had Taylor on the sidelines the entire 2019 campaign, the 49ers are aware of how long the recovery could be.

NBC Sports’ Peter King is aware of this too, recently commenting on Samuel’s injury in his weekly column, saying that the 49ers cannot hurry the former South Carolina Gamecock’s recovery from the jones fracture.

One of the five most impactful players in the Super Bowl, Samuel is a key element to everything Kyle Shanahan wants to do on offense. With someone who relies on speed and cutting as much as the cat-quick Samuel does, the 49ers cannot rush him back. Luckily for them, September isn’t their most arduous stretch (Arizona, at Jets, at Giants); if he can get back by Oct. 18 for the Rams-Pats-‘Hawks-Packers-Saints pre-bye gauntlet, that might be optimal.

An October return is not something that fans, the organization or Samuel wants, but it’s important for San Francisco to treat this with an immense amount of respect to ensure Deebo hits the field in 2020 and doesn’t suffer long-term setbacks.

Addressing the Schedule

King’s comment on the schedule is interesting, mostly because it’s true. Here’s the five opening games before October 18:

The 2019 total record of these teams? 30-49-1.

So King has a point, but in the NFL, not bringing your best will lead to losses that shouldn’t happen on paper. The two games that catch the eye is the Cardinals and Eagles’ games, mostly because they’re at home.

With fans unlikely to attend games in 2020, home and away games will be unprecedentedly different, and it will be interesting to see how San Francisco navigates it.

This is not to mention that the Eagles won the NFC East last year and that the Cardinals were not far from being an NFC West contender with quarterback Kyler Murray last season, and the addition of receiver DeAndre Hopkins only makes that offense stronger.

Samuel’s Response to Recent NFL Negotiations

The NFL Players’ Association and the league have been in negotiations and social media back-and-forth as football attempts to find a safe way back in 2020, but for Deebo, the concern is simple.

You have to feel for Samuel and the rest of the NFL’s young players, who are either coming into a dicey situation or their first offseason is one that has been derailed by the spread of COVID-19.

Samuel’s added injury recovery is likely only adding to the anxiousness, but the only thing the 24-year-old can focus on at the moment is getting better and being ready for the NFL season, no matter how it comes.

READ NEXT: Analyst Predicts George Kittle Will Sacrifice Money to Stay With 49ers

Evan Reier is a sportswriter covering the San Francisco 49ers for Heavy.com and local sports for the Montana Standard in Butte, Mont. Reach out to him on Twitter at @evanreier and join our 49ers community at Heavy on 49ers on Facebook.

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