SF 49ers wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk couldn’t play in Week 12 versus the Rams, but he was arguably the best fan of the game.
But on the positive side, when one has been unavailable, the other has stepped up.
Such was the case in Week 12 when the Niners closed out their 2020 season series against their NFC West division rivals, the Los Angeles Rams, in a back-and-forth contest that saw San Francisco’s defense make a number of key plays over the first three quarters.
Aiyuk, who has 35 receptions and 446 receiving yards on the season, wasn’t able to play in the game after being placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list last week.
So, naturally, it was Samuel’s time to step up. And he sure did.
Samuel had been out of action since Week 7 after suffering a hamstring injury, but the second-year pro made his presence felt with a massive 11-catch, 133-yard effort in the SF 49ers’ 23-20 last-second win over the Rams.
And Aiyuk was all about the game-winning field goal by kicker Robbie Gould:
Pretty sure every Niners fan felt the same way after what’s been a turbulent week.
Samuel’s return, along with comebacks by other SF 49ers players — cornerback Richard Sherman, running back Raheem Mostert and running back Jeff Wilson — helped spark what seemed to be an improbable victory over a red-hot Los Angeles team that entered the contest with the league’s No. 2-ranked scoring defense and an offense that ranked fifth best in total yards gained.
While San Francisco had its own offensive problems throughout, its defense did enough to quiet the Rams offense enough, particularly by engineering four defensive takeaways to LA’s three.
One can only wonder what the game’s outcome would have been like had Aiyuk been on the field with Samuel.
Fortunately, as Aiyuk self-contains on the reserve/COVID-19 list, Samuel is still going to be more than adept picking up the slack.
He showed such on Sunday, and Aiyuk couldn’t be happier about it.