Despite a flurry of snow and mistakes, the San Francisco 49ers held off the Green Bay Packers and won a tight 13-10 game at Lambeau Field.
Fighting through the elements in a tough environment was impressive enough, but wide receiver Deebo Samuel also had to overcome injury as the 49ers placed a heavy load on his shoulders.
About halfway through the third quarter, Samuel was injured, initially staying down for a considerable amount of time and being attended to by medical team members. NBC Sports’ Matt Maiocco observed that the staff were attending to his shoulder.
However, it became clear throughout the game that Samuel had a foot issue. Possibly the moment that best showed the extent of Samuel’s injury was after his biggest play of the night. With just a minute left and on 3rd and 7, the Niners elected to go to Samuel on a handoff. They likely expected 4-5 yards and a deep field goal attempt, but Samuel powered through the Packers defense for a crucial first down.
As he left the field afterward, he had to hop to the sideline as he couldn’t even consider putting weight on his foot.
But as concerning as that visual is for 49ers fans, they can also rely on Samuel’s own comments to hold out hope for his chances for next weekend’s NFC Championship.
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Samuel Speaks on Injury
Right after the game, Samuel was interview by NFL Network reporter Stacey Dales and she asked the offensive threat about the injury and how he was feeling.
“My ankle got twisted up, and I got scared there for a second, but I’ll be alright,” Samuel said per 49ers Webzone. “I was hurting all game, but I’ll be alright.”
Obviously, that’s not very detailed from Deebo, but it’s hard to expect to get the full context or situation right after the game. When 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan was asked about the injury later on, he dropped an equally vague but encouraging answer.
“He was out celebrating with them [after the win],” Shanahan said. “He seemed alright.”
Shanahan, Samuel and the rest of the 49ers organization will know Samuel’s condition as they run tests in the coming days.
Including that seven-yard run shown above, Samuel ran for 39 yards on ten carries. In terms of receiving, Deebo caught three passes for 44 yards. Even on a snowy, low-volume day, Deebo continued to show why he’s becoming a household NFL name this year.
Shanahan Also Comments on Jimmy Garoppolo
Besides addressing Deebo with the little info he had, Shanahan also commended the player getting the ball to Samuel: quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo.
Shanahan recognized that Garoppolo’s interception after the 49ers’ best drive of the first half was a bad one, but he also appreciated how the quarterback never quit.
“I thought Jimmy battled,” Shanahan said. “I know he had that bad pick, which was unfortunate. That wasn’t a good play. But some of the plays Jimmy made in the first half—I mean, the throw to Kittle was going to be a touchdown, and Kittle missed that. One play later, when they blitzed us, for him to get it off to Jauan [Jennings], and give a chance, I thought Jimmy made some really good plays in this game.”
131 yards and an interception isn’t impressive production by any means, but it’s clear that Shanahan and the 49ers aren’t wavering after Jimmy G earned the team another playoff win.