The 49ers hit a setback with Deebo Samuel’s broken foot, yet these three wide receivers could help alleviate the loss.
The San Francisco 49ers can’t have a modestly quiet and fully healthy offseason, right?
On Thursday, NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported second-year wide receiver Deebo Samuel suffered a broken foot, a Jones fracture while participating in impromptu offensive practice sessions in Nashville, Tennessee. Samuel’s injury required surgery, which was performed the same day, and Rapoport’s reported expectation would be for Samuel to hopefully return at some point early in the season.
Hopefully, that’s the case. At least Samuel thinks so:
Still, there’s likely to be a notable trickle-down effect stemming from the receiver’s injury. After all, Samuel’s 802 receiving yards and six combined regular-season touchdowns a year ago were a big reason why the Niners offense was expected to be even more explosive in 2020.
While Samuel could reasonably be back by Week 1 if he heals well enough, missing training camp could ultimately mean some additional setbacks and a general slowing of head coach Kyle Shanahan’s offense.
Unless some other players step up in Samuel’s absence.
The Niners wide receiver room is deep heading into training camp, yes. But behind Samuel, there weren’t exactly a ton of proven options with regular reliability. Samuel’s absence will open up more chances in camp for other wideouts on San Francisco’s depth chart to see more meaningful reps. That’s a bonus.
But unless those reps translate into production on the field, Samuel’s injury could end up being a serious hindrance.
As such, let’s take a look at three wide receivers who must pick up the slack until Samuel can return healthy enough this upcoming season.