While the San Francisco 49ers don’t expect to have Arik Armstead back in time for Week 12 after finally making his return to practice for the first time since October 1st, the team did receive some good news heading into their game against the New Orleans Saints, as Deebo Samuel is expected to play after being listed as questionable on Friday. Listed as questionable on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday with a hamstring injury, Samuel is reportedly going to try to play barring a pregame setback per the sources of Adam Schefter.
Assuming Samuel makes it onto the field in Week 12, he will join an offense that is otherwise at full strength, as the only other offensive player to land on the injury report during the week, Trent Williams earned a clean bill of health heading into the game and finished out the week with a final status of full participant.
Even if the 49ers have built an offense that has more playmakers than targets in any given game, even if Pro Bowlers like George Kite gave suggested that any talk of the team having too many mouths to feed, Kyle Shanahan’s offense is always going to be better with number 19 on the field, as he’s arguably the prototype of a “San Francisco 49ers offensive skills player.”
Kyle Shanahan Comments On Deebo Samuel’s “Different” Injury
When asked in his final media availability session before Week 12 about Samuel’s hamstring injury and whether or not it was a re-aggravation of the same injury that bothered him earlier in the season, Shanahan provided some insight into his player’s status, as per Mike Florio of NBC Sports.
“No, it was something different,” Shanahan said. “We got back (from our game in Mexico) at like seven in the morning, I’m sure he went home and slept for a while. It was a little weird day. He didn’t feel it much on Tuesday. Got the information on Wednesday and then we were safe about it.”
Will Samuel’s availability be limited in the game due to his hamstring injury? Could pushing it against the 4-7 Saints ultimately cause the All-Pro multi-hyphenate to miss time in the future if he overly exerts himself? Only time will tell, but if the 49ers get out to an early lead, don’t be surprised if Shanahan relies more on his reserves like he opted to do in Mexico City against the Arizona Cardinals.
Danny Gray’s First San Francisco 49ers Catch Still Eludes Him
In Week 11, Danny Grey, the 49ers’ third-round pick out of SMU, officially logged a new career-high 10 offensive snaps against the Cardinals, marking the first time he’d passed into double-digit snaps as a pro.
For Grey, this was a major accomplishment, as the rookie speedster was expected to add a vertical element to Shanahan’s offense as a change-of-pace outside option in place of typical third receiver Juan Jennings, but has as of yet failed to carve out a consistent offensive role. Still, despite having an uptick in on-field playing time, Grey failed to log the first NFL catch that has eluded him through his first six professional appearances, as he wasn’t targeted in the game.
If the 49ers can run away with the division or at least run away with a few games down the stretch, maybe Grey will earn more opportunities to see the field and actually have a few more balls thrown his way, but for now, his place appears to be on the bench, where he’s taken to learning the NFL ropes from fellow draftee Brandon Aiyuk.