Just because 49ers wide receivers Deebo Samuel and Trent Taylor suffered the same foot injuries doesn’t mean the recovery timeline will be the same.
On Thursday, the San Francisco 49ers received some devastating news: Second-year wide receiver Deebo Samuel, who led the team at his position with 802 receiving yards last season, suffered a broken foot while participating in impromptu practices with teammates in Nashville, Tennessee.
The break is a Jones fracture and required surgery.
And in the immediate wake of the setback, it wasn’t long before many started drawing parallels between Samuel’s fracture and a similar injury suffered by wide receiver Trent Taylor a year ago.
Taylor, at the end of training camp in 2019, was looking to be a prolific weapon and poised to bounce back from an unrelated injury that plagued him the year before. But Taylor ended up suffering his own Jones fracture, undergoing surgery and subsequently dealing with a lot of complications that landed him on season-ending injured reserve.
So, naturally, it wasn’t shocking many would be worried Samuel could suffer the same fate.
Except the timelines could be drastically different. The timing is, too. And perhaps that’s reason enough for Niners fans to relax a little bit, even though the injury is still a big deal and the 49ers won’t have a clearer picture of Samuel’s recovery process until training camp, per NBC Sports Bay Area’s Matt Maiocco.
Timeline for 49ers to get Deebo Samuel back
Samuel immediately tweeted out he’d be back in 10 weeks, and that isn’t an inaccurate assessment.
Without trying to be medical professionals here, this Medical News Today article breaks down the timeline as being six to eight weeks for recovery. There can be, however, delays in the recovery and healing depending on the break. So it’s not necessarily automatic Samuel will be back in time.
But there is, however, a benefit to Samuel suffering this injury so early in the offseason. Assuming it’s an eight- or 10-week recovery process, the receiver should be back on the field around late August, putting him in position to fully take the field in time for the 49ers’ season opener on Sept. 13 versus the Arizona Cardinals.
Taylor suffered his injury just before the 2019 regular-season campaign kicked off, long after training camp started.
Trent Taylor’s setbacks with his injury
One of the key hopeful differences between Taylor and Samuel is what happens/happened after both players’ injuries.
Taylor ended up dealing with multiple setbacks and problems during his recovery, as KNBR 680’s Jake Hutchinson pointed out last March:
"The first screw that was inserted into Taylor’s foot “wasn’t really working,” so he went back for a second surgery, for a different screw, at which point his foot became infected. Doctors then attempted to clean out the area and gave Taylor a PICC (peripherally inserted central catheter) line in his arm for five weeks, which he said, “wasn’t really getting to it.”“So they go back in again and put something inside of my bone, an antibiotic tool inside my bone,” Taylor said. “Had that in there for like six weeks and then the last surgery was just them taking it out.”That conversation was back on February 5, when Taylor said he would about to be able to stop using the walking boot he’d been using for the past several months."
Simply put, Taylor underwent multiple surgeries, some serious setbacks and more to hinder his return to the field.
While there’s a chance Samuel could suffer the same fate, it’s certainly not automatic.
So for those worried Samuel could miss the entirety of 2020, yes, he could. But it’s not likely or automatic. And the hope is the second-year pro will end up returning to the field on schedule and in time for the regular season to begin.